What Is Medicare Open Enrollment Period?


Understanding Medicare Open Enrollment


If you are 65 or turning 65, you have probably been hearing about Medicare Open Enrollment period, (sometimes called AEP for short). Medicare Open Enrollment is a 10 week period in which any one can change his/her current or enroll in a new Medicare plan and drug plan.

Open Enrollment occurs every year from the middle of October until the first week of December. This year, Open Enrollment will run from October 15th 2016 to December 7th 2016.

So why is this such an important time for anyone who is 65 years old? The importance of Open Enrollment lies in the fact that it’s the only time of the year that you are allowed to leave a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plan and switch into a different one that is better suited for you, without facing penalties. It is also the only time when you can switch into a better, perhaps more affordable Prescription Drug Plan.

Let’s say for instance, you decided to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan because at the time of your initial enrollment, (around your 65th birthday), you were healthy and not taking any medications. Then over the course of the next few months, you started taking regular prescription meds for a new condition you were just diagnosed with. You were probably stuck overpaying for your drugs, because you couldn’t get yourself on a better, more affordable drug plan; one that covered your drugs and didn’t leave you paying out of pocket. Well, during Open Enrollment Period you can meet with a Medicare specialist, and find a drug plan and Medicare Supplement Plan that includes your drugs and will be more affordable and provide you with better coverage.

Even if your medications and health have not changed it’s still a good idea to meet with a Medicare specialist during Open Enrollment Period to review your options because plans and coverage change every year. If you decide to change your plan during Open Enrollment Period, your new coverage will take effect the first of the following year (January 1st 2017 for this year).

The specialists at Plan Medicare are available to discuss all of your Medicare options during this crucial time. Call 516-900-787 now and set up a time to speak with someone today.