Medicare coverage

What Changes Are Allowed During The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period takes place from October 15 to December 7. It’s a time you can make changes to your policy so that you can have coverage that is a better fit for you. This also gives you an opportunity to explore your options and see what Medicare has to offer. But there are certain guidelines as to what you can do during this time, as some changes are reserved for other enrollment periods.

What is the Annual Enrollment Period NOT for?

In order to participate, you must already have a Medicare policy as this period is not for joining Medicare for the first time. You can only enroll in Medicare for the first time during the Initial Enrollment Period (three months before you turn 65 to three months after you turn 65) or during the General Enrollment Period (January 1 to March 31).

What Can I Do?

With Annual Enrollment, you can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to Medicare Advantage (Part C)
  • Drop Medicare Advantage and stay with Original Medicare
  • Join or drop a prescription drug plan (Part D)
  • Switch from one prescription drug plan to another

Why Would I Make Changes?

Medicare policies are always subject to change from year to year. Original Medicare typically has the same benefits, but the costs associated with it are likely to be different each year – this includes premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

Like Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans can have changes in price, but what makes these plans unique is that there can be changes to the coverage network. Physicians can move out of your network area, which can influence your decision to switch to another Medicare Advantage policy.

Part D plans experience changes in prescriptions covered as well as its costs. You may decide to switch to a different Part D plan if your medication is no longer in the formulary. Or, you may drop a Part D plan because you are switching to a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage.

When are the Changes Effective?

The changes you make during the Annual Enrollment Period become effective on the first day of January in the following year. You will have your current coverage for the remainder of the year.

We Help You Make the Most Out of Enrollment

With Medicare Sharks, you’re going to get the best of what Medicare has to offer. Our expertise combined with our compassion is what makes us your number one option for finding the policy that gives you the coverage you need. Whether it’s joining Medicare or making changes, we are by your side. Give us a call today to learn more!