Important Period for Medicare Enrollees!

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is also referred to as the Open Enrollment Period or Annual Election Period.

AEP is the preferred term on this platform.

AEP runs from October 15th – December 7th every year.

Why is this period important?

This period is important – for current Medicare beneficiaries – because it may be the only opportunity to review and change a Prescription Drug Plan (Part D) for the following year.

What plans can I change during this period?

You may:

Will my current plan have changes for the upcoming year?

Your current plan may have changes effective for the upcoming year. Or, there may be changes in another plan that may lower your cost share. For these reasons, it is always wise to review your plan.

The plan sponsor is required to mail you an annual notice of change (ANOC). The ANOC informs you of any changes to your plan for the upcoming year. The ANOC must be mailed by October 1st.

The changes that may occur in a prescription drug plan are the premium, deductible, copay, formulary list, and preferred pharmacies.

The changes that may occur in a Medicare Advantage Plan are the premium, deductible, maximum out-of-pocket, copay, formulary list, preferred pharmacies, in-network providers, dental, vision and hearing benefit amounts, and other ancillary service benefits.

What if I miss the deadline of December 7th?

If you miss the deadline to change your Medicare prescription drug plan, you will have to wait until the next annual enrollment period (Oct 15th – December 7th) of the following year to make a plan change.

If you miss the deadline to change your Medicare Advantage Plan, you will have another opportunity during the MA OEP, which is from January 1st – March 31st.

However, during the MA OEP there are limits. During this period, an individual may only change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advangate Plan, or from a Medicare Advantage Plan to a Part D (stand-alone prescription drug plan). Individuals who have opted to enroll in a Medigap policy are advised to enroll in Part D during this period.

When does a newly enrolled plan become effective?

If you changed your stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D) or Medicare Advantage plan during this period (AEP), your new plan will be effective on January 1st of the upcoming year.

If you happen to enroll in a plan during this period and later change your mind, you may enroll in a different plan or go back to your original plan, as long as you do so during the period (Oct 15th – Dec 7th). The last plan to which you enroll, when the period ends on December 7th, is your decisive plan for the upcoming year.

How do I review my plan?

There are several ways to have your plan reviewed. You may: