- October 15, 2020
How to Prepare for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, also known as AEP, is just now underway. AEP began on October 15th and will end on December 7th. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their existing Medicare coverage. Being fully prepared by reviewing your current coverage is crucial to ensure you are receiving the Medicare coverage that is right for you. To help get you started on your preparation for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, we’ve compiled a list of six things for you to consider while preparing for AEP.
What changes can you make during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?
Before we get started on your preparation checklist, let’s quickly review what changes can be made during the Annual Enrollment Period. During AEP you can do the following:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan
- Enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D)
- Disenroll in a Prescription Drug Plan
- Switch from one Prescription Drug Plan to another Prescription Drug Plan
6 Ways to Prepare for the Annual Enrollment Period
1. Review Annual Notice of Change Letter
Each year Medicare beneficiaries receive an Annual Notice of Change letter (ANOC) from their Medicare plan carriers. This document outlines any changes in coverage, costs, or services to your current plan that will take effect in January of the following year. Medicare beneficiaries should expect to receive the ANOC by September 30th. It is extremely important to thoroughly review the letter as there could be significant changes to your Medicare coverage that may not be right for you.
2. Make a List of Current Prescriptions
Keeping a list of your medications is helpful in determining if you’re current prescription drug plan is providing the coverage you need. You may have added a new prescription this year or changed a prescription to another, and is it important to make sure those prescriptions are still covered under your current plan. You may also want to compare the prices of your existing plan to another to determine if your plan is still the most affordable option.
3. Review your Medical Expenses
Another great way to prepare for the Medicare Annual Enrolment Period is to review your medical expenses from the previous year. How much did you pay for premiums or copayments? How much did you pay out-of-pocket? If you find that your out-of-pocket expenses were too high for your budget, you may want to consider other plan options.
4. Think About your Healthcare Needs
Make a list of your healthcare priorities and compare that to your existing plan’s changes for the new year. It is also helpful to jot down what you like about your current coverage, and what you wish was different. This will help you in determining whether or not you need to explore other coverage options.
5. Evaluate your Options
Once you’ve reviewed your current healthcare coverage and any upcoming changes to the plan, it’s time to determine whether or not you will need to explore other coverage options. Start researching plans and evaluate them based on your healthcare priorities. If you have Original Medicare and feel like your coverage isn’t fitting your needs, you may want to research Medicare Advantage plans or even Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans.
6. Schedule an Appointment with a Licensed Independent Insurance Agent
If you conclude your current Medicare coverage isn’t acceptable for your needs, it might be wise to connect with an Independent Insurance Agent that can help you compare your coverage options. A licensed Insurance Agent will walk you through the entire process and will answer any questions or concerns you may have about your healthcare choices.
At Griset Medicare Solutions, we offer a personalized approach to evaluating your healthcare needs. With over 40 years of insurance experience, we are confident we’ll find the best Medicare coverage choices that are right for you.