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AEP 2020 News: For 60 million seniors Fall means colored leaves, pumpkin spice and Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, also referred to as Medicare Open Enrollment.
“Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is the one opportunity for millions of seniors to make many important changes to their health coverage for the coming year,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance. “This year because of Covid-19, seniors really need to start planning earlier because AEP lasts only 54 days.”
Open enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7. “During open enrollment, you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage such as switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or the other way around,” Slome explains. “You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan to another.”
Slome anticipates the impact of Covid 19 will make life a little more difficult for a significant number of seniors. “Sixty million is a lot of people and there aren’t that many people around to answer questions or help compare options,” Slome notes. “Waiting until the last minute could very well mean you won’t be able to secure time to get the information you need.”
“Switching from one plan to another can secure better coverage and quite possibly save some significant money,” Slome reports. “One study showed that seniors changing from one Prescription Drug Plan to another saved an average of $500 to $600. That alone is worth checking to see if there’s a cheaper plan out there for you.”
The American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance (AAMSI) maintains the only online free directory where consumers can find local Medicare insurance agents. “There are 1,000 plus to help navigate Medicare Advantage, Medigap and drug plans but their schedules get booked well in advance,” Slome notes. “Medicare Annual Enrollment lasts only 54 days. Don’t wait until day 50 and hope to find someone with time to spend with you.”
The learn more about Medicare options or to access the agent directory, visit the Association’s website at www.medicaresupp.org. AAMSI advocates for the importance of planning and supports insurance professionals nationally who market Medicare insurance.