Every year from October 15 to December 7, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to make changes to their health plans during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D), your benefits and costs can change yearly. This is outlined in an Annual Notice of Change that’s mailed in September. If you are unhappy with these changes, AEP provides an opportunity to review other options.
What changes can I make during AEP?
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
- Drop Medicare Advantage and go to Original Medicare (Part A and Part B)
- Go from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Change from one Part D Plan to another Part D Plan
- Sign up for a Part D Plan
- Drop your Part D Plan
Why would I switch plans?
- Your doctor is no longer in your plan’s network
- Your medication is no longer on your Part D drug list
- Your premiums are increasing
- You want different benefits than you had before
How does this affect my Medicare Supplement Plan?
If you have a Medicare Supplement Plan, the Annual Enrollment Period doesn’t affect it. However, be sure to check your Part D Plan for any changes that may impact you negatively.
What if I’m new to Medicare?
If you’re new to Medicare, you have your own enrollment period separate from AEP. If you are turning 65, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes the month of your birthday, and extends for three additional months. If you’re disabled, your Initial Enrollment Period begins three months before your 25th month of receiving Social Security benefits.
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