What Is The Annual Election Period?

There are certain periods when you can make the necessary changes to your Medicare coverage. One of these periods is known as the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP). The Annual Election Period runs from October 15th to December 7th every year, and you can make changes, disenroll, or switch plans.

How to Prepare for the Annual Election Period

Even if you are satisfied with your current Medicare plan, you can take advantage of the Annual Election Period to ensure you have the best health and prescription drug coverage for your needs. In September, you could receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) about your current Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) or Part D prescription drug plan.

The Annual Notice of Change contains details about changes to the plan network, coverage changes, and any cost-related information. Make sure you read this letter carefully, so you are not caught off-guard in the coming year with the changes made to your plan. Then, if you are satisfied with your current health and prescription drug coverage, you don’t need to do anything.

What Changes Can You Make During the Annual Election Period?

Here is a quick rundown of changes you can make during the Annual Enrollment Period:

  • Change your plan from Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Part B) to Medicare Advantage
  • Change from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
  • Sign up for a Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan
  • Switch from one MA plan to another
  • Switch from a MA plan without prescription drug coverage to a MA plan with prescription drug coverage
  • Switch from one Medicare Part D drug plan to another
  • Drop your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage altogether

Things You Can’t Do During the Annual Election Period

You probably noticed that Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans were not discussed in any of the changes you can make during the Annual Election Period. 

For most Medicare beneficiaries, there is only one period they can purchase any Medicare Supplement plan without answering a series of questions about their health. The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is a one-time enrollment window where Medicare beneficiaries can’t be turned down for preexisting conditions. This period starts the month your Medicare Part B coverage starts, and you turn 65; it then lasts for six months.

How to Prepare for the Annual Election Period

Here at Medicare Sharks, our experienced Medicare experts can help you understand the Annual Election Period and how you can prepare for it. Give us a call today to have one of our agents review your Medicare options and help choose the right plan for you.