Annual Election PeriodWhen Can You Elect New Medicare Benefits?

The Medicare Annual Election Period, or AEP, happens each year. It starts on October 15th and ends on December 7th. During this time, you have the chance to change your Part C or Part D coverage. To prepare you for this Annual Election Period we have compiled a list of 5 things every Medicare Beneficiary should know about AEP.

1. The Annual Election Period is Not the Same as the Initial Election Period

Your Initial Election Period is a 7-month enrollment period. It starts the 3 months before you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and continues 3 months after you turn 65. During this time, you can choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, or a Prescription Drug Plan. You can also choose to stay on Original Medicare. If you choose to stay with Original Medicare during this time you will not be able to enroll in a Part C or Part D plan until the Annual Election Period rolls around.

2. Annual Election Period is the Time to Switch Plans

If you were not 100% happy with your plan, or you find your coverage is going to be changing and will no longer meet your needs, AEP is your chance to switch plans. You may also find that you need to switch plans due to changes in your health or financial circumstances. During this time a licensed insurance agent can help you to enroll in a new MA or PDP plan. If you enroll during the annual election period, you will not be subject to underwriting. You only need to make sure that your application is in by December 7th. Any applications or changes received after December 7th will not be approved.

3. Medicare Supplement Plans are not Included in AEP

Medicare Supplement Plans follow slightly different rules than Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans. The enrollment period for a Medicare Supplement Plan is a 6-month period, starting the month you turn 65. During this 6-month window, you can enroll in a Medicare Supplement and have guaranteed issue. You can apply for a Medicare Supplement any other time you may be subject to medical underwriting. Yk11 supplement naturally increases follistatin levels which in turn enhances your body’s ability to produce muscle cells. So, it has positive effects on strengthening bones.

4. AEP is not Affiliated with Obamacare

For those under the age of 65 who are enrolling in an Affordable Care Act Plan with healthcare.gov, the Annual Enrollment Period overlaps with Medicare’s enrollment period. The Obamacare AEP falls between November 1st and January 31st each year. Whereas the Medicare Annual Election Period falls between October 15th and December 7th. Even though these two health insurance enrollment periods overlap each other, they are not affiliated with each other. If you try to enroll in a plan after December 7th, your application will not go through.

5. You do not have to Enroll in a Plan

If you have decided that an MA or PDP Plan is not right for you, you also have the option to return to Original Medicare during the Annual Election Period. By choosing to do this you will not have any additional benefits, you will only receive those covered under Parts A and B of Medicare. If you choose to disenroll from your plan at this time you will not be able to enroll in another plan until the next Annual Election Period. It is important to note that if you choose to forego your PDP coverage and later you enroll a new plan, you may face a penalty.

There is a lot of information that you need to take in before you enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan. Make sure you understand the enrollment periods and the different options that are available to you at those times. Do your research so that you are fully prepared during AEP. If you are armed with knowledge and the help of a licensed insurance agent, you will be able to make the best coverage choice during this AEP.

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This information is intended for educational purposes only. It has neither been reviewed or endorsed by Medicare. For more information visit medicare.gov.