senior deciding to use the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

Do I Have to Use the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

Medicare gives you different enrollment periods, each designated for specific changes you want to make. One that stands out is the Annual Enrollment Period. Here, you will be able to join, switch, or drop plans, and its changes will be effective on January 1 of the following year. However, participating in it is not mandatory.

Why Use the Annual Enrollment Period?

The Annual Enrollment Period, which lasts from October 15 to December 7, gives you a chance to make adjustments.

Adjustments include:

  • Switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage
  • Dropping Medicare Advantage and staying with Original Medicare
  • Joining a Part D plan
  • Switching from one Part D plan to another
  • Dropping a Part D plan, either altogether or because of joining a Medicare Advantage plan that already offers drug coverage

You can only make use of this enrollment period if you already have Medicare. It’s not for first-time enrollees.

Why Not Use it?

Simply put, you don’t have to take any action if you’re happy with the policy you already have and are content with the changes in coverage and costs.

You will be informed of these changes when you receive the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC), which arrives in September of each year. These changes will become effective on January 1 of the next year. If you do not mind these changes, you do not have to do anything during the Annual Enrollment Period.

What if I Change My Mind?

Once the Annual Enrollment Period has passed, you will need to wait until the next one comes. The duration of this enrollment period gives you plenty of time to reflect on whether you would like to make changes to your policy.

But if you have Medicare Advantage, you may make changes to that plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, which takes place from January 1 to March 31. Any changes you make at this time will be effective the following month.

Take Advantage Now

At Medicare Sharks, we are proud to help you with your Medicare policy in any way we can. Even if you do not want to make changes, we are still here in case you have questions. Above all, your satisfaction is important to us, and that’s why we strive to get you the best Medicare policy at an affordable price.