Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is every year from October 15th to December 7th. This is the time to really see what the following year may bring in terms of changes to your plan. There are a multitude of misconceptions surrounding this enrollment period, mainly due to the numerous other enrollment periods Medicare has available. Below are some common questions you might be asking:
What can I do during AEP?
- Apply for a new prescription drug plan (Part D). The majority of these plans change your copays (the portion you pay) and what tiers certain medications are in on a yearly basis. Make sure to evaluate the new plans each year to ensure you are paying the best prices!
- Apply for a new Medicare Advantage plan (Part C). These plans are also able to change copays as well as networks on a yearly basis. This means that doctors can change which Medicare Advantage plans they accept as well. So make sure to check the plans!
- If you decide to leave your Medicare Advantage plan, you can apply for Original Medicare (Parts A & B). You may decide to also pick up a Medicare Supplement plan, but you will have to go through underwriting to be accepted onto a plan. Underwriting is a series of medical questions that will determine if a company will accept your application for coverage.
When does the coverage start?
All new plans will be in effect starting January 1st of the following year.
What do I not need to do during AEP?
You do not have to change your Medicare Supplement plan during this time. As a matter a fact, there is no specific enrollment period to change from one Medicare Supplement plan to another. You can make this change at any time during the year! Just give a quick phone call or email to your Plan Medigap agent to see which Medicare Supplement Plans are competitive in your area.
I like my drug plan. Why should I even bother looking at the new plans?
While the coverage on Medicare Supplement plans stay consistent throughout the years, both prescription drug and Medicare Advantage plans can drastically change from one year to the next. The name, premium, copays, covered medications, and preferred pharmacies can all change. Sometimes you might get lucky, but it never hurts to double check that you have a plan that matches your needs.
There are 40-50 prescription drug plans to choose from! How do I know which one is best for me?
That is what we are here for! We are available from open to close over the phone, or you can email us 24/7 with any questions you may have. Contact your Plan Medigap agent beginning in early October to review your 2021 prescription drug plan options. We look forward to hearing from you!