Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is rapidly approaching, and will begin on October 15. At this point you might be wondering what you can do during Medicare AEP. And on the other hand, it can be helpful to know what you cannot do, so that you understand the limitations of the program. So here’s what you need to know right now.
What you can do during Medicare Annual Enrollment Period:
- Drop Original Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan instead
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare
- Compare costs of different Medicare Advantage plans to identify one that better suits your needs
- Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
- Add a Part D (prescription) plan to Original Medicare, drop a Part D plan, or switch from one Part D plan to another
If your plan provider is making changes to your current plan, they will send you an annual notice of change in the mail. Look for this notice, so that you can anticipate upcoming changes and switch plans if necessary. Even if you’re happy with your current plan, it makes sense to compare with different options to be sure you’re enrolled in the best plan for your needs and budget.
That’s pretty comprehensive. But there is one thing that you cannot do during Medicare Annual Enrollment Period: This is not the time to enroll in a Medigap plan. The Medigap Open Enrollment Period is a six-month period of time that starts when you first become eligible for Medicare. During this time, you can enroll in a Medigap plan without answering any questions about your health. Later, you can drop your Medigap plan and enroll in a new one, but you have to pass underwriting first. There are no guarantees that you will be eligible for a new or different Medigap plan outside of the original Open Enrollment window, so the time to make this important decision is during your original Open Enrollment Period.
Remember, Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15 and runs through December 7. Call us for more information, and we can help guide you through this process.