If you are like millions of other Medicare recipients, you want healthcare that continues to meet your needs at a price you can afford. During Medicare’s Annual Election Period, also known as AEP, you can compare the plans in your area and enroll in a new plan if you find one that suits you.

AEP starts on October 15 and ends December 7, giving you plenty of time to review your current coverage, compare your options, and determine if there’s a plan that will give you more benefits for a price you can live with. Most Medicare recipients are mindful of their budget, especially if they are retired and living on a limited income. Why not take advantage of this enrollment period to make sure you have the coverage that’s right for you.

Why is AEP so important?

Unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, AEP is generally the only time of the year when Medicare recipients can make changes to their coverage. What changes can you make? You can drop your Medicare Advantage plan, with or without prescription drug coverage, to another Medicare Advantage plan, with or without prescription drug coverage. You can switch from one Prescription Drug Plan to another. You can drop Original Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, with or without prescription drug coverage, or you can drop your MA plan and revert to Original Medicare. If you go back to Original Medicare, you’ll have the opportunity to enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan at this time.

What to know if you change coverage?

Comparing plans is easier than ever thanks to online comparison tools. Free, no-obligation plan comparison sites allow you to see benefits side-by-side so you can decide which plan will meet your specific needs. If you decide not to change your coverage and your plan will continue to service your area, you don’t have to do anything. Your Medicare coverage will continue as is. If you make a decision to enroll in a new plan, you can enroll online or telephonically, depending on your area. If you choose to change your plan during AEP, your new coverage will go into effect on January 1.

Related articles:

What Are My Options During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

Understanding How Medicare Advantage Works