Tips for Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
(Understand what insurance products apply)
During the AEP, you may add, drop, or change your Medicare Advantage Plan (MAPD) or stand alone Part D (PDP) plan. If you have Traditional Medicare you may switch to a Medicare Advantage Plan, or you may change your stand alone Part D coverage. Remember, if you have medicare supplement coverage, you may apply to change your supplemental plan at anytime, not just during the AEP.
(Thoroughly Evaluate your current plan and/or one you may switch to)
If you have a current Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan be sure to review the new summary of benefits the carrier is required to send to you. For Part D coverage check the premium, deductible if there is one, the formulary and know what tier the drug falls in so you know your cost share for your medications. Furthermore, if you may use mail order check to see what coverage it has. Sometimes one plan will have a much better mail order than another.
For Medicare Advantage Plans be sure your doctors are in the network or accept the plan. Be aware of the out of pocket so you know what your worst case cost might be. You need to check what your cost would be for any major service like hospitalization or surgery. Also check your medication with the pla
(Don’t rush the decision, but do your homework)
The AEP is from Oct 15 until Dec 7th so you have around 50 days to decide if you need to change or keep your current plan. This gives you time to do a thorough evaluation of any plans you might be considering as well as reviewing your current to be aware of any changes that might affect you. Once the enrollment period is over you will generally be in the plan you have for the following calendar year.
(Know the difference between Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Supplement Plans)
They are NOT the same so when you are discussing coverage with someone be sure you know which you are talking about. Medicare Advantage Plans pay instead of Medicare, while Medicare Supplement Plans pay after Medicare pays. You may receive info in the mail or you may get called by someone and you want to know what type of plan you are discussing. I talk to clients a lot of times that are confused about which of the two we are discussing or because someone else may have confused them.
(Renewing Your Current Plan)
If you decide you want to renew the plan you have you will not have to do anything. After you have determined it’s best to stay with you current coverage your plan will automatically renew.