Yes, it’s that time again! The Annual Election Period (AEP) begins on October 15 and ends on December 7 of this year.
This is an important time, and you will likely receive many communications regarding the upcoming Annual Election Period.
Below are some frequently asked questions to prepare you for the upcoming open enrollment period.
What is Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period/Annual Election Period (AEP)?
The open enrollment period is from October 15th to December 7th of each year when Medicare recipients can make changes to their Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) coverage for the coming year.
Why is the annual election period and reviewing my plan important?
Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D PDP plans can change each year, meaning the amounts you pay in premiums and deductibles could increase. Insurance carriers can also change their drug formularies, meaning that a drug that costs you a few dollars each month now could double or triple in price next year. Reviewing your Medicare plans is one of the best ways to manage your long-term retirement plan because you can identify any changes that could add up expenses over time. Plus, you could find a plan with better coverage for you.
Can I change my Medicare Supplement during open enrollment?
Yes, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan, it can be a good idea to review your plan because premiums can change, and another company may be able to offer you the same plan with the same coverage for a better price. Remember that you can switch your Medicare Supplement to another Medicare Supplement at any time during the year, however, you may have to go through a medical underwriting process. Depending on your health, another company may deny your application. If you want to switch from a Medicare Supplement to a Medicare Advantage plan, AEP is your only opportunity to do so.
Why is an annual review of my Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) coverage especially important each year?
If you have new medications, have switched medications, or your insurance carrier changes its drug formulary, your costs could skyrocket if you don’t carefully review your current plan. Note that the plans with the lowest premiums are not always the best financial choice, the cost of one month’s worth of one drug that’s not in your plan’s formulary could exceed an entire year’s worth of monthly premiums. You can compare drug plans online on the Medicare.gov website. Log in or register to see all your current medications and generate a custom quote for the coming year. Note that prices may change in the first couple weeks of open enrollment, we don’t recommend changing your drug plan until November when prices have settled.
Medicare options can be confusing, but we are here to help! Contact us to review your plans and get all your questions answered.