The 2021 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is officially underway, lasting from October 15 to December 7, 2020. For these two months, seniors have the opportunity to join, switch or drop Medicare plans to meet their healthcare needs.
Planning ahead for this period can help you understand your current healthcare coverage, identify potential coverage options and ensure that you choose the right plan for next year. Here are some tips to make the AEP as stress-free and beneficial to you as possible.
What are my Medicare options during the AEP?
One of the key steps in preparing for the Medicare AEP is understanding what options are available to you during this period. The AEP gives you the most opportunities to add, switch or remove healthcare coverage for 2021.
During this period of time, you are able to:
- Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
- Change from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, including one that does or does not offer drug coverage
- Join a Medicare Prescription Drug plan
- Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug plan to another
- Drop your Medicare Prescription Drug plan
Note: If you did not sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B when you were originally eligible (during your Initial Enrollment Period), you cannot enroll in Medicare at this time. You will need to wait until the General Enrollment Period, which starts on January 1.
4 tips for preparing for the Medicare AEP
Once you understand what choices you are able to make during the AEP, there are a few things you should do to examine your current and potential coverage options. Use these tips to help you prepare.
- Review your Annual Notice of Changes: Each year, Medicare carriers will send an Annual Notice of Changes letter to current customers through the mail. This letter will outline any changes to your existing plan in 2021, such as increases to your premium or maximum out-of-pocket limit or changes to your coverage. Review this letter carefully to determine whether your current plan will continue to meet your needs next year.
- Make a list of key coverage needs: If you’re looking to change your Medicare plan, your first step should be to make a list of health coverage items that are important to you. Do you require vision services or hearing aids? Do you have a preferred set of doctors? What type of prescription drug coverage do you need? Use this list to check whether a plan will cover your most important needs.
- Compare plans and costs: With your list of priorities handy, begin looking at Medicare plan options. Pay close attention to both the benefits included and the costs involved in the plan. Narrow plans down to a select few that you believe will provide the coverage you need at a price point that’s comfortable for you.
- Get support: If you’re having trouble sorting through all the Medicare options available to you, you’re not alone! There are support options out there to help you make sense of the AEP. Search for a free online education event that can teach you more about your options or call a Medicare insurance agent to discuss your priorities and coverage options.
Choosing Medicare coverage during the AEP doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing. With a little planning and preparation, you can make the process of finding and applying for Medicare simple and fast!
Do you need support in finding the right Medicare plan? SeniorCare Benefits represents a range of Medicare plans to meet your unique healthcare needs. Contact an agent at 1-844-484-4221 to discuss your eligibility and plan options today.
By clicking the “Get a Free Quote” button, I authorize SeniorCare Benefits and its affiliates to contact me at the telephone and email address provided via live, pre-recorded or autodialed calls, email or text message. My carrier’s message and data rates may apply. I understand this is not a condition of purchasing any property, goods and services and that I may revoke my consent at any time.