Medicare isn’t always a one-plan fits all type of insurance coverage. Instead, there can be many plans best suited for you at different times in your life. Fortunately, Medicare is flexible, and you can add, drop, or switch coverages during the open enrollment period.
The open enrollment period is from October 15th through December 7th every year. The coverage you choose goes into effect on January 1st of the new year. Be careful waiting too close to the deadline because some things might not go through at first, and if they don’t receive your change by December 7th, it may not be considered until the following year.
What is Open Enrollment?
Medicare open enrollment is for anyone who has Medicare and wants to make a change to their plan. Unfortunately, many people often overlook this time and think their original plan was the best, but that’s only sometimes the case. That is why open enrollment can be critical if anyone wants to save money or look for different options for their health coverage.
Why Should I Be Aware of Open Enrollment?
As stated above, people who miss open enrollment can miss out on many changes that could benefit them. People enrolled in Medicare Plan D, or different drug plan coverage should be aware of this. In addition, some private insurance companies will change their plans and what drugs they will cover, which is important if you need a specific prescription.
Anyone with a Medicare Advantage Plan should also be aware of this open enrollment period. Some insurance companies will change who the providers are in their network, which could mean the doctor you’ve seen may only be able to see you if they’re part of the network. If your Medicare Advantage Plan changes, you will most likely be made aware of this. Keep an eye out for a letter in September to see if your plan has changed.
What Changes Can Be Made?
During this open enrollment period, there are a lot of different changes one can make. The list below has some great information about what can change.
- Switching from the original Medicare Plan to a Medicare Advantage Plan, or vice versa.
- Switching from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another.
- Enrolling in a Medicare Plan that covers prescription drugs.
- Opting out or quitting your Medicare Plan D Plan.
- Switching from one prescription drug plan to another.
Of course, other changes can also happen during this enrollment period, but those listed above are people’s primary considerations. If you choose to enroll back into original Medicare and still want or need extra coverage, you can check out Medigap.
What Changes Can’t Be Made During This Period?
If you are not enrolled in Medicare, you can’t sign up for it during this period because Medicare open enrollment is specifically for those already enrolled in Medicare. However, if you qualify for Medicare, you’ll need to sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period, during Medicare’s general enrollment period, or during a special enrollment period. Learning about the first steps of Medicare can be found here.
Talk With Your Experienced Insurance Agent Today
Switching Medicare Plans isn’t always for everyone. You must understand what plan you may be adding, changing to, or dropping so you always get the best coverage possible. If you need help talking through the options available, don’t hesitate to contact me. I have years of experience and can help you choose the right plan.