What is the Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period?
By rwevenson91601593, Jul 27 2017 07:12PM
In the next few months, you will notice a large number of television commercials talking about the 2018 Medicare Open Enrollment Period, also referred to as the Medicare Annual Election Period. What exactly is the annual open enrollment period and how does it affect you? Every year between October 15 and December 7, Medicare beneficiaries may make their annual election concerning Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug) coverage for the following calendar year. During open enrollment period, a Medicare beneficiary can make the following elections: 1. Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. 2. Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare. 3.Switch Medicare Advantage Plans. 4. Add, switch, or drop Prescription Drug coverage with Original Medicare. Towards the end of September, beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Part C or D will receive a 2018 renewal packet in the mail. Do not disregard this envelope. Carefully review its internal materials. A Medicare Advantage Plan or a Prescription Drug Plan can make certain changes every year. For example, the premium, benefit coverages, and/or provider networks may change including participating physicians and preferred pharmacies. By reviewing the material, a beneficiary can consider staying in their current plan (if still offered) or changing to a new plan that better fits their needs. Changes will take effect on January 1 of the next calendar year. Think of open enrollment as the annual time to review your Medicare coverage. There are many choices to consider and all beneficiaries should be fully informed about the various options. Always feel free to call us.