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you don't have to "sign up" for Medicare's AEP

Do I Have to Sign Up for the Annual Enrollment Period?

Do you have to sign up to “sign up” for Medicare? It’s a question worth asking.

To be simple, no, you don’t have to sign up for the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) — as long as you make the necessary changes between October 15th and December 7th, you’re covered. 

But, if you don’t have to sign up for the AEP, how do you prepare for it? How can you determine if you should make changes to your current coverage? And where do you go to make said changes?

Preparing for the Annual Enrollment Period

Even though you do not have to sign up for the AEP, you should still be prepared for the potential changes you may make during it. Firstly, you should consider your current health to determine what coverage you may actually need.

If your current Medicare coverage is no longer cutting it, consider additional coverage options available in your area, such as an Advantage or Part D plan. On the other hand, if you feel you have too much coverage, you may also want to thoughtfully consider downgrading or disenrolling from some of your current coverage.

Determining What Coverage Changes You Should Make

During the AEP, you have the option to add or remove either/both a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan(s). Under Medicare Advantage, you have 3 distinct options to cater to your specific coverage needs, including:

  • Special Needs Plans (SNPs)
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plans
  • Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans
  • Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plans

To learn more about your Medicare Advantage options, check out our blog on what changes should you make to your Medicare coverage during AEP.

There are also 5 tiers of Part D coverage you should consider prior to making changes during the AEP. If you would like to learn more about your prescription drug coverage options, check out our post on changes to your Part D plans during the Annual Enrollment Period.

How Do You Make Coverage Changes During the AEP?

To make changes to your Medicare coverage, first you will have to let your current provider (if any) know of the changes you want to make. At this point, you will discuss whether or not you are adding or removing coverage. 

From here, the change will either be complete, or you will have to sign up for the new plan you had decided upon. Either way, any changes will take effect on January 1st. So, while there is no need to sign up for the AEP itself, you will have to complete a few steps in order to make the changes.

Don’t Let Your Insurance Go to Waste — Make the Most of it with Trusted Senior Specialists

If you aren’t getting the best coverage for your health at the best price in your area, take advantage of the Annual Enrollment Period. But how do you know what changes you should make?

With Trusted Senior Specialists, we’ll give you the help you need to ensure that your needs are taken care of. To get started with your free insurance advice, give us a call at (855) 952-1941.