How To Prepare For The Annual Enrollment Period

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) takes place from October 15th to December 7th. You can make big changes to your Medicare coverage during this time, and it’s important to take advantage of it.

Here are three steps you can use to prepare for the AEP.

Step #1: Know Your Options

Knowing what you can do during annual enrollment is the first step towards your best Medicare coverage. The coverage you currently have determines where to start–you cannot enroll in Medicare for the first time during this period.

If you are enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you have a few options. Because you are already in the most “basic” coverage plan Medicare has to offer, you cannot reduce the coverage you already have. You can, however, consider enrolling in another plan for more coverage. You may enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Part D plan during this time.

If you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, you have a few options as well. First, you can switch to a different provider for the same or different Advantage plan for better coverage, pricing, etc. Or, for those with an Advantage plan that does not include prescription drug coverage, you can switch to a plan that does, and vice versa. You can also switch back to Original Medicare.

If you have a Part D prescription drug plan, you can drop or switch it to another plan or provider. Or, if you don’t have Part D, you can join a new plan. 

Step #2: Reconsider Your Health Needs and Budget

Now that you know your options, which changes do you pursue? You don’t have to make changes to your coverage, but doing so may suit you better.

Consider, for instance, if your health has changed over time. Maybe you didn’t need Part D when you first enrolled, but now your coverage would greatly improve with it.

On the other hand, perhaps you feel you are paying too much for coverage you don’t use. The AEP is the perfect time to switch to a less expensive plan or drop a plan entirely. Or, if you like your current coverage, you may even be able to find it at a better price elsewhere. Wherever the case may be, it is vital to consider your own needs first.

Step #3: Call the Medicare Sharks

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is tricky. How can an individual compare their current coverage against other available plans? Well, working with an insurance agency means insight into your own coverage and your other options. Medicare Sharks does the work for you and will discuss all of your options to ensure you’re getting the coverage you need for your health and budget. To complete the final step, give us a call today.