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Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Guide
When is Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) runs from October 15-December 7 each year. During AEP, Medicare recipients can evaluate their current coverage and make changes. There’s no requirement to take any action during this annual enrollment period, but oftentimes people find more affordable options or plans with more coverage. Medicare plan details can change annually, so it’s a good idea to compare your options each fall to make sure your health and prescription drug needs are covered for the coming year.
2021 Annual Enrollment Period Dates
October 15, 2021
The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period Begins
December 7, 2021
The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period Ends
January 1, 2022
If you enroll in or change plans during AEP, your new Medicare coverage starts on this day.
Three Steps to Prepare for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
Whether you’re currently satisfied with your Medicare plan or are considering your options, here are some steps to help you prepare for the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period:
1. Review Your Medicare Plan’s Annual Notice of Change
The Annual Notice of Change is a document sent to Medicare beneficiaries that lists any changes in plan coverage, service area or costs that will go into effect the following January. All Medicare plans are required to send this document to beneficiaries by September 30 or 15 days before the start of AEP. Although it’s a good idea to consider all your options for coverage during the enrollment period regardless, this document will give you a better idea of the changes you can expect and if you need to reevaluate your Medicare plan.
2. Create a Medicare Checklist Your Plan Needs to Meet
One of our experienced, licensed insurance agents can help you find the right Medicare plan for you, but our Medicare Checklist can help simplify the process even more. This checklist will help you compile any information that will be crucial to the conversation with your agent. It’s okay if you don’t know all the answers, but it can be a good place to start.
3. Evaluate Medicare Options
Changes You Can Make During Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
During Medicare’s AEP, Medicare beneficiaries can:
- Switch from Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B) to a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C).
- Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan.
- Switch from one Prescription Drug plan (Medicare Part D) to another or enroll in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan for more comprehensive coverage.
- Add a Prescription Drug plan if you didn’t enroll when first eligible for Medicare.
Any changes you make during the Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Enrollment Period will take effect on January 1 of the following year.
Enroll during Medicare Annual Enrollment Period from October 15th – December 7th.
No matter how you feel about your current Medicare coverage, it never hurts to take a look at all your options during AEP. Plans and premiums tend to change annually, so it’s worth seeing if there’s another option to better fit your needs. In just minutes, we can compare Medicare plans for free from some of the most trusted insurance companies in the U.S. This checklist can help you prepare for AEP.