The Annual Election Period for Medicare Advantage Plans

It is hard to believe that we are in July and the year is half over. I hope all of you have had a wonderful summer so far and that you are looking forward to more nice weather and perhaps more outdoor activities over the next several months. Personally, I love August, September and October. My favorite activity is evening walks around the neighborhood. Usually, it is not quite as hot in the evening, I am able to get some exercise, clear my head of the day’s issues, and generally feel better when I am done with my walk. So that is why I look forward to slightly cooler, less humid months of the year when you can still be outside.

Since we are in July, I thought it would be a good idea to review the Annual Election Period for Medicare Advantage plans, known as AEP. AEP takes place every year between October 15 and December 7. These dates are set by the Federal Government and during this time period a person who has a Medicare Advantage plan can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan. Also, if an individual has a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan, they can switch to a Medicare Advantage plan during this time frame. Note that Medicare Advantage plans are “Guaranteed Issue” meaning that everyone is eligible irrespective of health status. Medicare Advantage plans are prohibited from Medical Underwriting.

If an individual decides to change plans during the AEP, the new plan will be effective January 1, of the following year. So, if a person changes this fall during the AEP, the new plan will be effective January 1, 2020. If a person likes the plan that they are currently enrolled in, then they do not need do anything and the plan will automatically renew, so long as the individual continues to pay the premium if the plan has a premium charge.

All Medicare Advantage plans are required to send out a document called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). This document is sent to enrollees on October 1 and outlines any changes to your plan for the following year. These changes include premium changes, benefit changes, copays, coinsurance, prescription drug changes, etc. We urge you to take a moment when you receive the ANOC and read the document carefully so you know what changes you will see in your plan for the following year.

Note that at MediPlanConnect, we will also review changes to your plan for the following year and if we see any major issues, we will contact you and if necessary, meet with you, at your convenience, to review the changes and possible alternatives if an alternative makes sense for you in your personal situation. Stay tuned for communication from us in the fall. Also know that you can call us at any time to request an appointment in the fall to review your coverage.

Again, we hope you have a wonderful rest of your summer and we hope you enjoy reading our blogs. Look for our blogs at www.mediplanconnect.com. Be well!

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