Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is open starting October 15 ending December 7. This is your perfect opportunity to review your current coverage and make changes that will take effect on January 1. AEP happens every year because Medicare updates the limits on Parts A, B, and D—including the deductibles, copays, and coinsurance—and Medicare insurance providers make changes to their plans in response. This window gives you a chance to preview the changes and make adjustments to the following options:
- Part C – Advantage Plans
- Drop your current Part C Advantage plan and enroll in a new Part C Advantage plan.
- Move from your current Advantage plan back to Original Medicare Part A (you will need to add a prescription drug plan, known as Part D).
- Drop your Medicare Supplement/Medigap policy and enroll in a Part C Advantage plan.
- Part D – Drug coverage
- Drop your current drug plan and enroll in a new plan.
- Drop your drug coverage if you have other credible drug coverage available.
Annual Notice of Change
Your current Part C Advantage plan or your current Part D stand-alone drug plan sends out an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) in September. This includes any modifications to coverage, service areas, costs, drug formularies, or pharmacy and provider networks that will be effective January 2021. You receive this by mail or electronically depending on your chosen communication preference. Don’t overlook this important piece of correspondence. You’ll need it to compare the coverage you currently have with what your plan will offer next year and decide if you want to make changes during the AEP.
We have not mentioned updating or reviewing any changes to your Medicare Supplement (known as Medigap) coverage during AEP because you have the ability to change this at any time should you want to switch to a different supplement provider. Be aware that when you switch to a new Medicare Supplement plan or carrier, you will need to answer underwriting questions and you may pay higher rates or be declined coverage depending on your health history.
Let’s prep for AEP
- Make a list of your current prescriptions, doctors and specialists, plan changes and questions.
Detail any fluctuations in your health, income, or prescription drug prices. Organizing this information will make your enrollment experience easier to manage.
- Compare plans and sign up for a new one if warranted.
There are two ways you can do this: Visit Medicare.gov and do it yourself using their online tools, or contact a local, independent Medicare insurance agent at Senior Financial Group. Our advisors can run comparisons and present you with recommendations based upon your situation. We can also sign you up for your new plan(s), which is a good way to protect yourself if there are problems with enrollment.
- Keep track of both deadlines.
Open enrollment ends December 7, 2020, but 2021 starts with a three-month grace period that runs from January through March, during which you can make a one-time change. If you are dissatisfied with the Medicare Advantage Plan you chose, you can change to another plan one time during this grace period. If you decide to switch back to Original Medicare, you can sign up for Part D coverage. If you already have Original Medicare and Part D as your coverage, you may not change your Medicare Part D plan until the next enrollment, unless you have a special enrollment period.
At Senior Financial Group, we put your needs first to make sure you have coverage that fits your lifestyle and budget. We provide quotes, check for the best rates, examine rate increase histories and financial ratings from over 20 carriers, so you can compare things that matter.
Call us today at 865-777-0153 or click here to schedule your Free Personalized Plan Comparison.