What is the Annual Election Period?
The Medicare annual election period (AEP) is one time of year you can make changes to your Part C and Part D plans.
The annual enrollment period begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th every year. During the annual enrollment period, you can change your Part C coverage. Any changes you make for example, if you switch to a different Part D plan, will take effect January 1st of the next year. This enrollment period offers an option to make sure you are enrolled in a plan that still meets your needs.
What can you do during AEP?
- During the annual enrollment period, you can:
- Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Change from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare.
- Switch between different Medicare Advantage plans.
- Enroll in Part D, switch Part D plans, or drop your Part D coverage.
- Do nothing if you prefer your current plan which typically auto-renews
Remember, you can change Medicare Supplement plans any time and do not have to wait until AEP.
The good or bad news is that you can make as many plan changes as you want during AEP. The last plan change will be the plan that you are enrolled in starting in January.
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All you pay for is the premiums, which are the same with or without our help.
Your plan will update you about the changes
In September, your carrier will mail you an Annual Notice of Change. This document contains the changes made to your Medicare Advantage coverage. Take a moment to read the letter. It has a side by side comparison of your current plan and what the plan will offer next year.
Any change included will be effective at the start of the following year (January 1). If you want other coverage options, then you can adjust your coverage during the annual enrollment period.
Wondering if you should review your Part C and Part D options during AEP?
Have you had major changes to your overall health and find your current plan does not meet your needs?
Have you changed to a doctor or healthcare provider that is no longer in your network?
If you are on a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D), will you see a significant drug or premium increase?
Have you had a change in medications and find yourself paying higher co-pays or are you in the “donut hole”?
Are you planning to snowbird next year?
McGregor Benefits agents are local Washington producers. They are happy to help you review your annual election period options.