Once you are enrolled in Medicare, you may come to the point where changes are necessary to continue having coverage that benefits you. This is where the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period comes into effect. With this period, you can make the necessary changes to ensure you are receiving the benefits you deserve.
What Can You Do?
During the Annual Enrollment Period, which begins on October 15 and ends December 7 of every year, you can review other Medicare plans to see which one fits you best.
If you are enrolled in Original Medicare, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you can drop your current plan to switch back to Original Medicare or switch to a completely different Advantage Plan. You also have the option to enroll, disenroll, or switch Part D plans to ensure you are getting the necessary prescription drug coverage.
If you switch to a new plan, your coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year.
Do You Have to Make Changes?
No, you do not have to make changes to your current Medicare coverage, but you certainly should review it every year to accurately answer that question. Your plan can make changes to its coverage every year, which may or may not be beneficial to you. This is where you will need to make the decision if you should stay enrolled, or switch to a new plan.
If you are enrolled in Medicare Advantage or Part D, you should receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) in late September if changes are being made. The ANOC will summarize the changes in your plan’s service area, coverage, and cost, which will take effect the following year on January 1.
You should also receive an Evidence of Coverage (EOC), which is a more in-depth list of your plan’s cost and benefits for the next year.
If your plan is leaving Medicare, then you will receive a Non-Renewal Notice in October. If you get this notice, you will need to look for a new plan for the following year to enroll in.
Need to Make Changes?
If you have received these notices, reviewed them, and need to make changes, you can do so during the Annual Enrollment Period. Reach out to an experienced agent, like the ones with Barnhart Insurance Group, to help you find a plan at the right price. Call 586-506-0340.