Medicare open enrollment is here. Do you know what you need?

shot of word open enrollment

Medicare open enrollment (also called the Annual Election Period) happens every year from October 15 until December 7.

Do you know what you need?

Mistakes can be costly. Choosing the wrong type of coverage costs Medicare beneficiaries hundreds—sometimes thousands—of dollars every year. Worse, many get stuck in plans with limited access to providers and services.

Don’t let this happen to you. Get enrollment guidance from a certified Medicare expert who’ll take the time to explain how certain options align with your unique needs.

What happens during the Annual Election Period (AEP)?

During this time, anyone with Medicare can make plan elections for the upcoming year. For example, a beneficiary can:

  • Change from Original Medicare (i.e., Part A and Part B) to a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C).
  • Drop a Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare.
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
  • Join or drop a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D).
  • Switch from one stand-alone prescription drug plan to another.

All AEP elections take effect on January 1 of the new year. Once the AEP ends individuals have limited opportunity to change plans during the year.

Medicare beneficiaries are not required to make changes. But it’s good practice to review your options annually, even if you like the plan you’ve got now. Plans change their benefits, formularies, and provider networks every year. You don’t want to get to April and learn your doctor is out-of-network or medications no longer on the formulary.

To learn more about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov.

Need help with Medicare plan enrollment? Call to speak with a licensed agent at (516) 223-0704.

  • Ruthlyn Noel is the owner of Healthwhiz Solutions and a licensed agent. She's certified in Medicare and New York State of Health individual and small business plans, and appointed with several insurance companies. Ruthlyn is also a board-certified patient advocate who's passionate about helping her clients navigate care situations, find coverage, assess their options, and enroll in a plan that suits their needs and budget.

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