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Medicare's annual enrollment period takes place from October 15 to December 7

What Is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) takes place from October 15th to December 7th. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries may make multiple different changes to their current coverage.

Let’s take a look at these potential changes, the benefits of the AEP, and how to make the most out of it.

What Changes Can You Make During the Annual Enrollment Period?

During the AEP, you are allowed to make multiple changes to your Medicare coverage each period. You are able to switch:

  • From Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare and vice versa
  • From one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • From a Medicare Advantage plan without prescription drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage with a Prescription Drug plan, and vice versa
  • From one Prescription Drug plan to another
  • To a completely new plan with a different provider

What Are the Benefits of the AEP?

Especially compared to other enrollment periods (such as the Initial Enrollment Period or Open Enrollment Period), the AEP has many benefits. For example, if you need more coverage than what your current plan offers, you are able to enroll in an additional plan such as Medicare Advantage or Part D.

Or, if you feel you are receiving coverage you no longer need or simply don’t use, you can also disenroll from any of your current plans (and re-enroll later on if you change your mind). Sometimes you can also find a better deal on the same coverage with a different insurance provider—if so, you have the option to switch from one company to another (as long as it is in your area).

How to Make the Most Out of the Annual Enrollment Period

When preparing for the AEP, you can take a few simple steps to ensure that you get the most out of it and your Medicare coverage. 

First things first, you need to consider your needs compared to your current coverage—is it too much? Too little? Prior to the AEP, you should receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and/or Evidence of Coverage (EOC) that outlines your current coverage. Review it, and follow your plan’s designated steps to disenroll if it is too much coverage.

If, however, you decide you want more coverage than your current plan, you should begin searching for and comparing plans available in your area. Most providers offer comparison engines on their websites for their coverage options, so be sure to take advantage of the tools available to you when deciding on a plan.

Call Trusted Senior Specialists

You deserve a team of insurance experts behind your decisions. When making changes to your Medicare plan, we want to help give you peace of mind. For your free insurance help, call Trusted Senior Specialists at (855) 952-1941.