If you are satisfied with your Medicare coverage and your plan will continue to service your residential area in the upcoming year, you don’t have to make any changes to your insurance during Medicare’s Annual Election Period, or AEP. You may, however, be one of the many Medicare recipients who find that as time goes by, changes in your health or budget affect your satisfaction with your existing Medicare plan. If you’ve experienced any new medical needs or find that your current plan simply isn’t as affordable as you’d like, you can explore your options during AEP.
Medicare’s Annual Election Period starts on October 15 and lasts until December 7. During this period, Medicare recipients can compare Medicare plans and make changes. What options do you have during AEP? You can change from one Medicare Advantage (MA) plan (with or without prescription drug coverage) to another MA plan (with or without prescription drug coverage.) You can drop your MA plan and revert to Original Medicare, and even enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) if you do. You can drop Original Medicare and enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan. You can switch from one Prescription Drug Plan to another.
Comparing Medicare Plans
During AEP, you can use online comparison sites that give you access to benefit and cost information for plans available in your area. You can compare plans side by side and find the one that meets your needs and preferences. If you’ve been diagnosed with medical conditions that have you relying on prescription medications, you can compare Prescription Drug Plan formularies and costs during this time.
Take your time to review your current coverage before comparing other options, so that you can determine if your current plan will continue to meet your needs in the next year.