Medicare annual election period is also known as Medicare open enrollment period. People have a Misconception about medicare that they can change the plan or yourself any time in a year. But you see that there are lots of time opportunities where you can enroll yourself without any charge. This period starts on October 15 to December 7 every year. It is a very important period for all Medicare users or those who want to be part of it. So it is very important to learn about the annual election period(AEP) in-depth. 

What you can do during this Medicare Annual Election period

  • Change the plan from Original Medicare (part A and B) to medicare advantage plan(plan C)
  • Change the plan from the Medicare advantages plan to the original Medicare plan. 
  • In this period you can switch your Medicare advantage plan to another
  • You can switch the medicare advantage plan with prescription drug coverage to a medicare advantage plan without prescription drug coverage and vice-versa. 
  • Enroll yourself only for prescription drug coverage which is Medicare part D.
  • Drop your Medicare part D coverage.

There are some other periods of the year where you can change your Medicare benefits. Before enrollment, you need to have a clear idea about medicare enrollment periods. 

If you are eligible for the special enrollment period to enroll in your plan then you don’t have any ride to change your plan until the annual election plan. Only during this plan can you change or update your medicare plan. If you have enrolled in a five-star plan then you have an opportunity to continue or discontinue your current plan. If you want to enroll yourself on a medicare advantage plan then you have to prove your eligibility for the Annual Election Period. After enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan you can also enjoy Medicare parts A and B in an advanced way. 

If you want to enroll yourself for medicare part D which is prescription drug coverage then you must have an enrollment of either part A or part B.

Check the review before choose the right plan

You need to review your health coverage before AEP whether it is beneficial for you or not. You must check their cost against benefits, their coverages, and their yearly health check-up you need to look after. 

If you are currently taking advantage of original medicare then you can switch it to medicare part C for advanced facilities which are not covered by the original Medicare like routine vision or dental check-up. The Medicare advantage part may vary because of private companies but still, it will give extra benefit than original medicare at the same cost. 

The prescription drug coverage is not included in original Medicare anymore. To receive this service you need to subscribe to medicare part D or medicare advantage  Prescription Drug plan(both part C and D). 

If you are already part of these plans, you still need to clarify the policies every year before AEP starts. They mailed to you for detailed information for the upcoming year, if there are any changes to their policies, services, and cost. If your services are no longer covered by the policies then they will notify you before the AEP. 

If you enjoy other prescription drug coverage rather than Medicare prescription drug coverage then you need to qualify for that if you want to enroll yourself in the plan. You can simply enroll yourself during AEP but if you don’t enroll yourself during this or late for the initial enrollment period also then you have to pay late enrollment penalties before sign-in. 

Medicare plans may affect your other insurance:-

There are a lot of plans like retiree or veterans’ benefits that mix up with medicare advantage plans very well. They don’t interrupt each other’s services. But there are some other services that can’t continue besides medicare plans. Before subscribing to any plan you have to make sure about all of this either it will hamper both of your plans. 

Best price for the coverage:-

The annual enrollment period is the right time to overcheck the price and the coverage whether you are happy with your coverage or not. It will be a very good idea to compare the plan worldwide before purchasing the plan. You get a chance to get a better option. 

Before enrolling in the plan you need to keep in mind something, like

  • Networks provided:–  before enrolled, you need to make sure that your preferred doctor is in the network coverage. If this is not done then you need to pay extra for the coverage.
  • Prescription drugs:- make sure that your enrolled plan gives you your prescription medications. There are copayments/coinsurance that detect your expected drug coverage but still, you need to check very clearly.  Drug costs may vary from plan to plan. 
  • Total cost-sharing expenses:- whenever you cross-check the price of the plan and premium cost. You may know lots of things about hidden costs. There are lots of plans that may start with a very low premium but after some time it goes huge but some of these start with a huge premium but in the end, it remains low gradually. So you need to compare all of this very carefully. 
  • Ratings:- all the medicare plans are ratings between 1 to 5 stars. After enjoying the benefits of the plan you need to rate their services into those stars. It defines the customer services and quality of the plan. 5 stars may indicate a sign of excellence. Every year the plans are reviewed and improved by the team. 

Conclusion

I hope that choosing the right plan for you is no longer difficult for you after reading the whole article. You need to choose the right plan after comparing the plans and enroll yourself during the annual enrollment periods.