What Do I Need To Do During AEP?
Great question! There’s a lot of information out there and we’re here to help simplify it for you. Let’s start with some basics: AEP is Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period and runs from October 15th to December 7th. During this time, you can make changes to your current coverage and enroll in a Medicare plan.
The specific changes you can make during AEP will depend on your existing coverage.
For Medicare Advantage members:
- You can change your current Advantage plan to a different Advantage plan. An important note here is to make sure all of your doctors are in-network – that way there are no surprises. Make sure to review the full summary of benefits and compare it to your current plan.
- You can also switch back to original Medicare and apply for a Medicare supplement plan. This requires underwriting approval by the supplemental company. Don’t cancel your advantage plan until you know you’ve been approved by the supplement. You’ll then need to enroll in a stand-alone drug plan, as supplements do not include prescription drug plans. This is a separate part called Part D.
- For Medicare Supplement members:
- The AEP is not related to Medicare Supplement plans. It does not need to be renewed or changed during this time period. However, supplements can be changed anytime during the year if you can pass underwriting. This time period is more specifically for your Rx (Part D) drug plan. These can be changed once a year, and this is the opportunity to do so. If you are happy with your plan, simply leave it as is and it will renew on its own. If you’re curious to see if you can find a different Rx plan with a lower cost, you may do so. You can use Medicare.gov to analyze your current prescriptions. An important note: your current plan may send an “Annual Notice of Change”, and this will detail ALL changes that your current plan is making for the following year. Review those changes carefully to make sure it won’t impact you.
- Can I change my Medicare supplement during AEP? Yes, but you can actually do that anytime during the year if you can pass underwriting.
Any changes resulting in new coverage will be effective starting January 1st of the following year. Whether you make adjustments or leave your plan as is, AEP is an opportune time to evaluate your current coverage and ensure that you have the best plan for your circumstances.