By KELLY HOKYO
You know that reviewing all of your options and enrolling in the right Medicare plan that suits your needs can help you to access the care you prefer while managing your out-of-pocket medical spending.
But your needs can change over the years, which is why Medicare allows us multiple opportunities to review coverage and different plans. Mark these dates on your calendar so that you won’t overlook one of these important enrollment windows.
Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year. This is known as the Medicare Annual Election Period, during which all Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their plan(s). During Annual Election, you can change from Original Medicare into a Medicare Advantage plan, or vice versa. You can also switch from one Advantage plan to another or add a Part D plan to your Original Medicare.
Changes made during this time will take effect for the following coverage year, which begins Jan. 1. Read the Annual Notice of Change that your current plan’s administrator will send to you in the mail, so that you understand upcoming changes to your existing plan. This can help you decide if a change is in order.
Jan. 1 to March 31 each year. At the beginning of the year, Medicare Advantage plan members have a second chance to evaluate their coverage during Open Enrollment. Do remember that this enrollment window is designed for Advantage enrollees only. You can change from one Advantage plan to another or drop Advantage and go back to Original Medicare.
And finally, you aren’t necessarily limited to these two enrollment windows if you need to make changes to your Medicare plan. If your circumstances change at any time during the year, keep in mind that you might qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
Contact us immediately to speak with a licensed agent if you move, your medical situation changes, or you experience other major life changes. We can help you determine if you’re able to change your Medicare plan at that time.
Kelly Hokyo (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a local, licensed and trained independent insurance agent. She is certified with many top Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug and Medicare Supplement insurance plan carriers. She represents most major companies with a Medicare contract and is qualified to answer any questions you may have.