What You Need to Know for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) -
Summer is nearly over and Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is right around the corner. The AEP begins October 15 and ends December 7. Any changes you make will take effect on January 1, 2024. Here’s what you need to know.
The AEP ONLY applies to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans (PDPs). It DOES NOT APPLY to Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans. You do not need to do anything regarding your Medigap plan.
IMPORTANT: SOME PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLANS ARE GOING TO EXPERIENCE SIGNIFICANT RATE INCREASES (60% OR MORE) in 2024 WHILE OTHER PLANS WILL BECOME MORE COMPETITIVE IN THEIR PRICING. THE MONTHLY PREMIUMS FOR ALL OF THE PLANS WILL BE AVAILABLE OCTOBER 1ST.
Medicare Advantage and Medicare PDPs are annual contracts (January 1 – December 31) which change every year. Anything in the plan—networks, pricing, formularies, etc.—can change, so you need to review your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan during this period to see if you need to switch to another Medicare plan.
You will receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) in September notifying you of changes in your plan. The plans will be made available after October 1 for your review and changes can be made starting October 15. You can go to the insurance company’s website and check to make sure your doctors are still in-network or check to see if your medications are still on the formulary and check the 2024 prices. ***Doctors and hospitals can enter and leave the network any time of the year, unlike us.
The AEP is the only time of the year you can switch your Medicare Prescription Drug plan except for special circumstances such as moving out of the plan’s coverage area. The insurance companies sometimes make further adjustments to their formularies after October 15, so I strongly recommend that you wait until early November to let the dust settle before making a change. This will provide you with a better chance of having the Medicare PDP best suited for your needs. ***The insurance companies can make further changes to their formularies during the year.
There is an OpenEnrollment Period (OEP) (which is really a Disenrollment Period) that begins January 1 and ends March 31, 2024. This provides people who have a Medicare Advantage Plan one more opportunity to switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan or disenroll from their Medicare Advantage plan and switch back to Original Medicare and purchase a Medicare Supplement and Prescription Drug plan. If you failed to meet the December 7 deadline to change your Medicare Advantage plan during the AEP, this is your final opportunity to make a change. Note: This does not apply to Medigap plans OR Medicare PDPs.
IMPORTANT: IF YOU NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE IN YOUR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN DURING THE MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD, YOU MUST CONTACT ME. IT IS ILLEGAL UNDER MEDICARE RULES FOR ME TO CONTACT YOU AND ADVISE YOU THAT YOU SWITCH YOUR PLAN DURING THIS PERIOD.
For those of you who purchased a Medicare Supplement and Prescription Drug Plan from me and need help changing your PDP, please feel free to call me after October 15. Please do not wait until December. This is the busiest time of the year, and the final week of AEP is often fully booked.
If you have any questions, please call my office. My advice is FREE so please contact me if you need guidance.