Medicare Open Enrollment Ends December 7
Every year from October 15 – December 7, adults on Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.
You may be wondering about your benefits for next year for:
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2022 Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) FAQ for Patients
What is the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), sometimes called the Medicare Annual Election Period and the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, is a specific fall enrollment period from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. During this time, beneficiaries can make changes to their current Medicare plan coverage. All plan and benefit changes become effective on Jan. 1 the following year.
What changes can I make during Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?
During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, people can make changes to their Medicare coverage, and Part D prescription drug plans. Multiple changes and updates are allowed, including:
- Dropping Medicare Advantage Plan and returning to Original Medicare
- Moving from Original Medicare only to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Enrolling in a different Medicare Advantage Plan
- Choosing a new Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
- Adding a Part D prescription drug plan if patient does not have one
Cancelling your current Part D prescription drug plan
Note: If you do choose to drop your Part D plan during AEP you can rejoin a Medicare drug plan in a future enrollment period. But, without maintaining some form of creditable prescription drug coverage, which means meeting the minimum coverage requirement, like through an employer or through the VA, you may have a late enrollment penalty.
How do I change my Medicare plan during AEP?
Village Medical can provide you with material and points of contact to assist you with your enrollment! At some Village Medical locations, Medicare Advantage representatives will be available to provide additional assistance to Village Medical Patients.
Is it better if I switch sooner than later during AEP?
The timing of enrollment does not matter, as long as you make your changes before the Annual Enrollment Period ends on December 7th.
Do I have to re-enroll in Medicare every year?
No. You don’t have to re-enroll in Medicare every year and you do not have to renew your Medicare health, Supplement, or prescription drug plan either. You only need to act if you want to make a change.
What happens if I miss AEP?
If you miss the opportunity to change your plan during the AEP, you will need to keep your current plan for one more year, until the next open enrollment period. However, you may still be able to make changes to your Medicare coverage if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
What is Special Enrollment Period (SEP)?
Under special circumstances you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). These circumstances include, but are not limited to:
- Moving to a new location that is outside of your current plan’s service area or where additional plan options are available
- Moving back into the U.S. after living abroad
- Moving into or out of a facility
- If Medicare terminates your current Medicare Advantage plan
- Losing employer sponsored insurance coverage
What is the difference between Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) and Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?
The biggest difference between AEP and OEP is that AEP offers more options and flexibility for more people than the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP). Each year, there’s a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 – March 31. During this time, if you are in a Medicare Advantage Plan and want to change your health plan, you can do one of these:
- Switch to a different Medicare
Advantage Plan with or without drug coverage
- Go back to Original Medicare and, if needed, also join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
- 1, L. N. J., & Norris, L. (2021, September 23). Medicare open enrollment 2022 guide. medicareresources.org. Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://www.medicareresources.org/medicare-open-enrollment/.
- Medicare annual open Enrollment Guide 2021. HealthPartners Medicare. (2021, September 27). Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://medicarehelp.healthpartners.com/blog/medicare-open-annual-enrollment-date/.
- Medicare open ENROLLMENT FAQS. KFF. (2020, November 4). Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://www.kff.org/faqs/medicare-open-enrollment-faqs/?view=2&topic=579145084.
- Seladi-Schulman, J. (2021, January 25). Medicare annual Enrollment period: What changes Can I make? Healthline. Retrieved September 28, 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/medicare/aep.