Medicare Open Enrollment 2017 starts October 15 and will close on December 7. This period is a once-a-year opportunity for Medicare beneficiaries who want to make changes to their Medicare Advantage Insurance plan coverage or Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans. This gives enrollees the change to carefully examine their coverage options and choose what the best plan is for them. Enrollees can compare current coverages and out-of-pocket costs, switch between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, change Medicare Advantage plans, add a Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, or drop prescription drug coverage.

Some things to remember during the Annual Election Period:

Confirm your eligibility to enroll – have Medicare Part A and Part B and live in the serve area of the Medicare Advantage plan you’d like to join

Decide if current coverage still meets your needs – review your current plan to see if the coverage and cost meets your need. Any details of your plans are mailed out every fall before AEP; this is Evidence of Coverage and Annual Notice of Change document.

Joining another Medicare plan may affect other insurance – check with other coverages you may have to see what Medicare does or does not cover. Talk to your benefits administrator to see how other insurance works with Medicare.

Compare prices to find the best for you – even if you are happy with your current coverage, you can always shop and compare prices with other plans that fit your needs.

Changes made during the AEP enrollment period will take effect on January 1 of the following year. Any changes that need to be made outside of the enrollment period can be done in the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, from January 1 to February 14 each year. During this period, if you leave a coverage plan, you may enroll into another by February 14. Be sure to make these changed within the allotted time frame, or there may be a late-enrollment penalty will be charged.

If you need any further assistance, be sure to contact the Medicare Pathways and speak with a licensed insurance agent for more information.

 

Sources: (http://www.medicare2017.us/medicare-open-enrollment; https://medicare.com/enrollment/2016-medicare-annual-election-period-checklist/; https://www.ehealthmedicare.com/about-medicare/enrollment/annual-election/?redicrectfor; https://www.ehealthmedicare.com/apply-for-medicare/when/late-enrollment-penalties/)