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What is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

selective focus of senior man touching wall calendar checking Medicare Open Enrollment Period

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period takes place between October 15 and December 7. This is distinct from the other Medicare enrollment periods because this strictly relates to existing Medicare policyholders. If you don’t have Medicare at all, you can’t get Medicare for the first time during this period. Becoming a first-time Medicare policyholder is exclusive to the Initial Enrollment (three months before to three months after the month you turn 65) and General Enrollment (January 1 to March 31) Periods.

The changes you make between October 15 and December 7 will take effect on January 1 of the coming year.

What can I do?

You can:

  • Drop your Medicare plan
  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, and vice versa
  • Switch from Medicare Advantage to another Medicare Advantage plan
  • Switch from a Part D plan to another Part D plan
  • Join a policy to add to the coverage you already have

Key documents

The Annual Enrollment Period is a time to review what your Medicare plan has done for you over the course of the year. You’ll see this in the Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) you’ll get in the mail once every three months. The MSN shows the services you got and how much your Medicare plan paid to give you a clearer picture of your coverage in action. If you like what you see, you may decide not to make any changes during the Annual Enrollment Period.

There are also two important documents for Medicare Advantage – Evidence of Coverage (EOC) and Annual Notice of Change (ANOC).

The EOC shows how your Medicare Advantage plan covered your costs. It’s much like the MSN. Be sure to give this document a thorough review once you get it. The EOC will arrive in the mail by October 15.

The ANOC provides details about the changes your Medicare Advantage plan will make in the next year. Changes include costs, healthcare providers entering or leaving your coverage network, and other details about the coverage itself. You will receive this document by September 30.

Should I make changes?

This time period is the best time to give critical thought to what plan suits your needs the most at the lowest price. Your current healthcare needs and personal preferences may be different now than they were when you initially signed up.

The Annual Enrollment Period comes every year. What you do from October 15 to December 7 won’t force you to stay with that particular policy for the rest of your life. What this does is help you tailor your coverage to changing circumstances.

Take advantage of your options today

Wise Up Financial is your best bet when it comes to making a strategy for future coverage. We will take you through the best plans available to you and find you the perfect fit. Wise Insurance takes everything about you into consideration because you are more than just a client to us.

Let us be your gateway to the right choices in Medicare. Make that right decision today by calling 830-308-0123.

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