Autumn is a busy time for Medicare! From October 15 through December 7 of every year, Medicare has its “Annual Enrollment Period,” or AEP. If you are already enrolled in Medicare, AEP is the only time throughout the year in which you can make changes to your Medicare plan, sign up for a new plan, or disenroll from Medicare for the coming year. Occasionally, individuals qualify for “Special Enrollment Periods,” but this only occurs due to special situations, like the death of a spouse or you lose your group health benefits.
How to Prepare for AEP
- First: Be prepared for a lot of mail. Insurance companies spend a lot of time and money trying to enroll individuals onto their Medicare plans. Your mailbox may be jammed with companies informing you of Medicare plans available to you. A word to the wise: be sure you are talking with someone you trust about your plan options! Contact us if you want to better understand which plans will help you lower costs, cover your prescription medications, and ensure you can continue to see your preferred doctors.
- Second: Assess your ANOC. This document provides you with all of the changes to your current plan in the coming year. Your ANOC will help you decide if your plan will still meet your budget by listing out changes to your premium, copays, prescription drug costs, and more. The ANOC will also list out which medications are covered and which providers are considered in network—both of which will impact your decision to stay on your current plan.
- Third: Contact a Medicare advisor to help you make any changes. If you are happy with your plan and do not want to switch, you can sit back and relax—your plan will automatically renew. If you do want to make changes to your coverage, you can contact us and we will review your options with you.
IMPORTANT: Be sure to make any changes before December 7! If you don’t make changes by the deadline, you will automatically be renewed on your current plan, and that’s the plan you’ll keep until AEP next year!