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What is Medicare's Annual or Fall Enrollment Period

Medicare Annual Enrollment Basics

What does the 2020 Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) mean for you?

You have probably been seeing and hearing a lot of advertisements mentioning ‘Fall Enrollment’ or the ‘Annual Election Period’ coming up for Medicare beneficiaries.  What does that mean?  It means that each year Medicare has a window of time during which you can change your coverage plan selections.  This period is from October 15th to December 7th of 2020 and is for everyone enrolled in Medicare. 

Why would you review your options if you are happy with your current plan?

Plan details change annually.  In September, each Medicare insurer sends out an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC).  This ANOC contains valuable information about benefit, network, premiums, and co-payment information. 

Even if you are pleased with your current plan, this is a great opportunity to determine if you have the very best coverage at the best price that will fit your unique needs.  Once you review your options and determine you are do not want to make any changes, you do not have to do anything.

What if you decide you DO want to make changes?

This is the perfect time to find the Medicare health plan that is right for you.  It is the opportunity to add, drop or make changes to your coverage.  In most cases, this is the only time you make pick a Medicare Advantage or Part D (prescription drug) plan. 

If you do make changes, these changes will take effect on January 1, 2021.

What are some things I can do during this period?

Eligible individuals can use this opportunity to:

  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Switch Medicare Advantage Plans
  • Unenroll from Medicare Advantage and return to Original Medicare
  • Enroll in a Part D Prescription Drug Plan
  • Switch from one Part D Plan to another
  • Drop a Part D Plan

How do I sift through the information?

Going through this review process can be confusing and stressful.  You are not alone!  There are a lot of knowledgeable advisors like Brenda Gilliam that can walk you through the process at no-cost to you as a Medicare beneficiary.  They will help you:

  • Make a note of premiums, deductibles, co-payments and annual out-of-pocket limits for comparison
  • Make sure your current Dr. will still be part of your plan’s network in 2021
  • Narrow down the right Part D for needs and budget
  • Help review expanded benefits

What happens after December 7th?

If you miss the AEP, you will have to wait until the following year to change plans, unless you qualify for a special enrollment period.  This period allows you to enroll in plans if you have had a life-event such as losing other coverage, moving, etc.  If you do not qualify for the special enrollment period, you will have to wait until October 15,2021 to make changes.

As always, Brenda is here to help with your Medicare decisions.  You do not have to know every detail of the enrollment process. That is what she is here for.  As a licensed agent with years of experience, she can help you personalize your Medicare plan to fit your needs.

*Gilliam Insurance Advisor is not approved by, endorsed by, or affiliated with a government agency. 

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