Friday, October 09, 2020

Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP)

Each Fall, Medicare offers Individuals, called beneficiaries, an opportunity to make changes in their plans which work with Medicare to process all treatment and services or to pay providers the part of treatment and services expenses Medicare doesn’t. 

• Medicare calls these times to make a change or sign up periods, and the one taking place each Fall is the AEP. It currently is from Oct 15 to Dec 7.

• The AEP is for people enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan and those with a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan. Individuals in CT with a Medicare Supplement can make changes at any time.

My focus is to eliminate confusion people may have about Medicare and the Medicare Health Plans. Thus, as we approach this year's AEP, I want to share some factual information about enrollment periods. This page from my Medicare Health Plans site has factual information.

Regretfully TV commercials throughout the year lead people to think they can change whenever they want, which they cannot. Ads use misleading statements such as - call to learn about new benefits you can have.

Another confusing thing about the time to make changes each Fall is sometimes incorrectly called an Open Enrollment Period. (OEP) The OEP however is not in the Fall. It is the first part of the year. It’s for people who are not happy with their specific Medicare Advantage plan to make a change. Technically it is the MA OEP and available Jan 1 through Mar 31.

You gain a lot more when talking with a health insurance advisor about all your options vs someone from one company!

John C Parker, RHU, LTCP

Niantic CT

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