We are now into fall and the leaves on the trees are beginning to change color. What a beautiful time of year! Also, at this time of year, we begin the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). The AEP begins on October 15 and ends on December 7. During this period, a Medicare beneficiary who is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan can change to a different Medicare Advantage plan. Of course, if no change is needed or desired, nothing needs to be done, the current Medicare Advantage plan will automatically renew.
If a beneficiary has a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, there is no AEP for those plans. Those plans can be changed at any time but if a beneficiary is past their initial Supplement enrollment period, they will be subject to a medical questionnaire if they want to change to a different Supplement plan. However, if a beneficiary has a Supplement plan and desires to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan, they may do so during the AEP with no questionnaire because Medicare Advantage plans are “guaranteed issue” and can never deny a beneficiary based on health status.
Finally, if a member has a Medicare Supplement plan with a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), the beneficiary can change their PDP during the AEP.
Note that any change made to a Medicare Advantage or PDP plan during the AEP will be effective on January 1st of the following year, in this case, January 1, 2021. Also note that with Medicare Advantage plans and PDP’s, you should have (or will soon) receive a notice in the mail from your insurance carrier. This notice is called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and must be sent to each beneficiary by October 1. This notice outlines changes to your coverage such as changes to your premiums, copays, benefits, etc. Please read this notice so you know what is changing and can decide whether you want to review your plan for this year. We also look at these changes and if we see any significant changes, we will notify you to assist you in deciding whether you want to change plans.
I hope all of this is not too confusing but please know that we are here for you and can help you navigate through these issues. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 717-980-3201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please, please stay safe. Please practice social distancing, wear a mask if you go out, keep frequently used surfaces clean and wash your hands frequently. These simple steps will help keep you safer during this COVID 19 pandemic.
Thank you for working with MediPlanConnect and enjoy the fall season!