Medicare Enrollment Period, Are you ready for it?

Greg Wilson

Updated on:

Medicare Enrollment Period 2021, Are you Ready for it?

    Did you know that the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (AEP) is the only time you can add, drop or make any changes to your existing Medicare Coverage? 

    This calendar year is from October 15 to December 7. we intended for the article to aid your research and offer further understanding, even if it's your first time enrolling. 

    Introduction to the Annual Enrollment Period

    Look out for the Annual Notice of Change that all Medicare Advantage and Part D recipients receive on October 1; you will want to consider these things:

    • Have your benefits changed or decreased?
    • Are you doctors and specialists still in the network?
    • Are your prescriptions covered? 
    • Are your copays increasing? 

    You can change your Medicare benefits during the Medicare Annual Period (AEP) from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. You don't have to change your plan; if you are happy with your Medicare benefits, don't worry about taking action. However, we suggest you check the coverage every year to ensure you're getting what you're supposed to. 

    What Can You Do During the Annual Enrollment Period? 

    • Switch to a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or Original Medicare. 
    • Update your coverage by switching to a new plan or carrier.
    • Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn't have drug coverage to one with drug coverage. 
    • Join or drop a stand-alone Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan.

    How Can You Prepare for The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

    If you want to prepare yourself for the Annual Enrollment Period, review these items and check for updates: 

    • Dental Coverage – Check which Medicare plans offer dental care, including allowances, rebates, and coverage. 
    • Prescription Coverage: Just like networks, prescription coverage changes every year. You should review your plan to make sure you're still covered. 
    • Network Coverage: Keep in mind that even if you don't change your coverage, the benefits of each provider change every year. This is why you should review the updates and ensure your primary care provider and any other healthcare providers are still covered under your plan's network.
    • Increased Costs – You may be surprised by increased deductibles, copays, and premiums. If these are not reasonable to you, consider choosing a new plan.
    • New Benefits – Look out for any additional benefits added to your plan, including vision care, fitness, or healthy food allowances. Talk to your provider and ask what other benefits are available to you. 

    What Changes Were Made in Medicare?

    The 2022 annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for Social Security benefits is expected to reach its highest level (projected at 6.2%) since 1983!

    Key Takeaways: 

    The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) starts on October 15 and ends on December 7.

    The AEP only applies to Medicare Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans. 

    The changes you make during AEP will take effect on January 1. 

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    In many cases, the AEP can be the only time you pick a different Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plan. However, if you make a mistake, you can switch plans during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, from January 1 to March 31. 

    Do you have a Medicare Advantage plan? You can switch back to your Original Medicare during the AEP. Depending on laws in your state, you could buy a plan that helps you pay coinsurance and deductibles; these are called Medigap plans, also known as Medicare Supplement Insurance. 

    If you qualify for Medicare but don't know where to start, we have licensed insurance agents ready to answer your questions and help you enroll in Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement Insurance, and Prescription Part D plans.

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