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What is the Annual Enrollment Period?

Medicare has various enrollment periods, such as the Initial Enrollment Period, General Enrollment Period, Annual Enrollment Period, and the Special Enrollment Period. During different enrollment periods, you can enroll in certain Medicare plans for the first time or make changes. For example, during the Initial Enrollment Period, which starts three months before you turn 65, you can enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B. 

Now, suppose you’re already enrolled but want to make changes to your coverage. In that case, the Annual Enrollment Period is something to consider.

The Annual Enrollment Period

The Annual Enrollment Period starts each year on October 15th and lasts until December 7th. If you make any change to your Medicare coverage during this period, the change will come into effect on January 1st of the following year. The purpose of this enrollment period is to ensure you get the coverage you need. If you are fine with your current coverage, you can simply keep your current coverage and not take advantage of this period. 

However, if you are not satisfied with your plan’s coverage options or need a cheaper plan, consider making changes to your coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period. 

How Will I Know If I Need To Make Changes?

Before the Annual Enrollment Period even begins, you will receive the Annual Notice of Change informing you of changes to your current coverage. These changes will go into effect at the beginning of the next year. By carefully reviewing this notice, you can decide if you would prefer to find different coverage or are happy with the changes that will be made.

What Changes Can I Make?

During this period, you can make several changes, such as joining a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan after being enrolled in Original Medicare.

Apart from enrolling in Medicare Advantage, you can also switch between Part C plans. Medicare Advantage plans are sold by various providers and have different costs, benefits, and plan options. If you prefer another Part C plan, you can switch during the Annual Enrollment Period. If your current plan no longer meets your healthcare needs, or you have found a cheaper plan with the same benefits, then it is advisable to switch to another plan. 

The Annual Enrollment Period allows you to perform other actions such as switching to Original Medicare from Medicare Advantage, joining a Part D plan, changing a Part D plan, and dropping a Part D plan. 

Contact us today at My Healthcare Direct for more information about Medicare and how you can take advantage of the Annual Enrollment Period.

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