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Here are 5 important Medicare dates to keep in mind.
Jan. 1 is when the Medicare Part D plan you selected becomes effective for the current year. If you switched plans because drugs you were prescribed were not covered (or were more costly) under your prior coverage, this is a good time to submit prescriptions to the new plan.
It’s also a good time to think about taking advantage of added benefits often contained within Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans. Maybe the plan offers health club or gym memberships. It’s a good time to capitalize on these wonderful added benefits.
Medicare Open Enrollment (MOP) period should not to be confused with the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). As we often say, Medicare is confusing.
MOP is specifically for Medicare Advantage (MA) plan members.
During these dates, you have a one-time opportunity to change to another MA plan. Or you have the option to cancel your MA plan and revert to Original Medicare.
In addition, you may add Part D (prescription drug coverage) if it is not included with your coverage.
If you’re in a Medicare plan, your plan will send you a “Plan Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) each fall. These shoulkd arrive during September. If you have not received by October 1st, call to get your copy sent immediately.
The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area that will be effective in January. You’ll need this info to decide if you should switch during AEP to get better coverage or save money.
These are probably the most important Medicare dates for millions. Just prior to Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) you are used to a mailbox filled to the brim. And television ads blitrz us with an urgent need to call. The sense of urgency is well placed because AEP lasts just a scant 57 days.
During AEP you are allowed to review your plan coverage and make switches to get better coverage or save money. AEP is especially important for those with Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans. Potential savings can be significant. According to the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance, individuals with a stand-alone Medicare drug plan could save an average of $486 per year by switching to a different plan.
For the 11,000 Americans who turn 65 every day, here’s what you need to know. There is a 7-month window around your birthday month to enroll in Medicare. The window is open 3 months before your birthday month, 3 months following and, of course, during your birthday month. This is generally the time when you’ll have the greatest opportunity to compare options from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or Medigap and drug plans available.
First of all December 1 is an important date for two reasons. AEP is drawing to a close in a few days and if you want to connect with a Medicare insurance agent — don’t wait. Many of them will be booked solid in the next coming days.
It’s also a good time if your coverage has deductibles you need to meet. It might be a good time to squeeze in care before you start the new year and have to meet new deductibles all over again.
We believe working with a knowledgeable Medicare insurance advisor can help you get the best coverage for your specific needs. They should know the important dates and the state-specific rules that govern your Medicare options.
Use the Association’s free online directory to find agents in your area.
Access is 100% free and 100% private.
We also suggest you read questions to help you choose a good Medicare broker.