2022 Open Enrollment Period
Each year as the Medicare Enrollment Period gets closer, you will start to notice more mail and commercials regarding Medicare. Much of the information is presented may just be sales related, but here is what you actually need to know about the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.
The Open Enrollment Period lasts between October 15th and December 7th each year. During this time, you may make changes to your coverage, and you will not be required to go through underwriting (health questions). There are no specific eligibility criteria to switch plans during the Open Enrollment Period, other than needing to be a Medicare beneficiary. If you decide to make any changes during this time, they will take effect January 1st.
What Kind of Changes Can I Make?
1. Change from a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) to Original Medicare (Parts A and B) or vice versa.
Remember that Part A and B are separate from Part C. They do not work with Part C.
2. Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
During this time, new Medicare Advantage plans are released that you may be interested in.
3. Change from a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage plan that does or vice versa.
If you miss your chance to switch for this option, you will have another opportunity between January 1st – March 31st during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period.
4. Join a Prescription Drug Plan.
If you decided not to obtain a Prescription Drug Plan when first eligible for Medicare or 63 days after you lost credible coverage, then you will likely incur a late enrollment penalty when you do decide to enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan. The penalty is 1% for every month you could have had coverage but chose not to enroll (amount is based on the national average).
5. Switch from one Prescription Drug Plan to another.
The Prescription Drug Plans change each year. It is very important to review this on a year-to-year basis because not only do the prices change but so does the coverage. For instance, your medication that was covered under your plan one year, may not be covered on the same plan the next year.
6. Drop a Prescription Drug Plan.
While it is less common for people to drop their Prescription Drug Plan coverage, if you decide to do so, the Open Enrollment Period is the time to do this. You will not be able to drop your Prescription Drug Plan any other time throughout the year unless you qualify for special circumstances.
Do I Review My Medicare Supplement Plan During This Time?
The good thing about a Medicare Supplement plan is you are not restricted as to when you can switch your plan. You can look into a different Medicare Supplement plan anytime throughout the year – no need in waiting until an enrollment period. Most Medicare beneficiaries review their Medicare Supplement on a three-year basis.
How Can I Make These Changes?
This time is crucial for companies trying to gain your business. You will need to utilize a trusted resource so they can explain to you which option best fits you and your needs.
During this time each year, we take time to speak with hundreds of clients on their specific situation and evaluate what is best for them.
In this day and time, it is rare that you call a company and speak with the same person. At MWG Direct, you know our advisors, and our advisors know you. If you choose to obtain your Medicare Supplement plan through us, we review your Prescription Drug Plan free of charge and take time to walk you through the changes for the following year. If you would like more information on enrollment or interested in a Medicare supplemental plan, give us a call at (877) 759-5762 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.