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Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Guide
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) 2021
The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) allows Medicare beneficiaries the opportunity to evaluate their current coverage and make changes. AEP runs annually from October 15-December 7 and is sometimes referred to as Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Period or the Annual Election Period.
When is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period 2021 starts on Friday, October 15 and goes through Tuesday, December 7. There’s no requirement to take any action during this time, but people often find more affordable options or plans with more coverage when they do. Medicare plan details can change every year, so it’s a good idea to compare your options to make sure your health and prescription drug needs are covered.
What You Need to Know About the 2021 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Part D plan, you should receive an Annual Notice of Change from your provider that includes any changes to your plan including costs, benefits and rules for the upcoming year. Even if you’re satisfied with your current coverage and these anticipated changes, it can be extremely beneficial to see other available options. For your updated or new plan to take effect on January 1, 2022, you must enroll during the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Changes that are allowed during AEP include:
- Switch from Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C).
- Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan.
- Switch from one Prescription Drug plan (Part D) to another. Learn more about comparing prescription drug plans.
- Add a Prescription Drug plan if you didn’t enroll when first eligible for Medicare. Learn more about choosing a Prescription Drug Plan during AEP.
How to Prepare for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is one of the few opportunities you have to make changes to your coverage. In addition to reviewing your annual notice of change, it will be beneficial to make a list of what’s most important to you when it comes to your Medicare coverage. Whether it’s specific benefits or reducing out-of-pocket costs for prescriptions, make sure to make note of what you wish was different from what you currently have.
At SelectQuote, our licensed insurance agents can help you compare your options and determine what plan might be the right fit for you. It will be helpful to have:
Your Medicare card
A list of your prescriptions
The names of your preferred doctors and specialists
Any medical concerns prior to your appointment
End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Medicare Changes in 2021
Individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) have historically been eligible to enroll in Original Medicare, but prohibited from enrolling in Medicare Advantage plans without special qualifications. Starting in 2021, all ESRD patients will be eligible to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans for the first time due to a lift in restrictions by The 21st Century Cures Act. For ESRD patients, Medicare Advantage plans can:
- Increase options for chronic-disease management
- Give more flexible or affordable payment options
- Provide significant savings for medications such as insulin
Learn more about the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period with SelectQuote.
We can help you compare your options from some of the most trusted insurance companies in just minutes. Let us help you ensure you’re getting the benefits you deserve. The service is free and there’s no obligation to enroll.