Open enrollment for Medicare happens from October 15th to December 7th each year. Extensions are generally not available. The exception to this is a FEMA declared emergency which prevents seniors from enrolling in the normal time frame. It is important to remember these deadlines if you plan on applying for Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. Generally, Insurance agents who are experts in the Medicare field are available to answer questions up until the open enrollment period.
During the open enrollment period, those who are already enrolled can reevaluate their coverage and change their plans, whether it is Medicare, drug coverage, or Medicare Advantage. What changes can be made? This is the time to switch from traditional Medicare plans to Medicare Advantage plans as long as you are enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B and live in a Medicare Advantage area. This is also the time to switch back to the traditional Medicare plan if you are unhappy with your Medicare Advantage plan. You can also switch from Medicare Part D drug prescription plans to another drug prescription plan.
The Annual Election Period or AEP has the same time span as Medicare Open Enrollment. Open enrollment does not allow you to make changes with the exception of a onetime change to Medicare Advantage plans whereas AEP does. Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Perion runs from January 1st until March 31st. Make the changes you need at the beginning of the new year. If you currently hold traditional Medicare and you change your mind during the AEP and before the December deadline, you can make as many changes that you need to as many times as you need to as long as it is before the deadline.
Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans can be confusing. To get clarification on premiums, deductibles, and copays, an expert Medicare or Medicare Advantage insurance agent will answer all of your questions and help you decide which Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan best fits your needs.
Most seniors have not compared their coverage options. This is why those enrolled in Medicare Part D drug coverage plan change their plan only at a 13% rate annually. Even lower on the statistics scale is traditional Medicare. Seniors only change their current plan at a rate of 6% annually. Looking at the statistics, it is clear that seniors are not informed enough about their coverage options. Connecting seniors with the Medicare and Medicare Advantage experts is what needs to be done so that seniors can maximize their benefits and get the exact plan that fits their needs. Local store, business centers, and government centers are places where a senior can find the Medicare insurance expert they need.