What to know about Medicare open enrollment

As a Medicare beneficiary, you should know your plan is not set in stone. Thanks to open enrollment, you can make changes to it as your particular needs change. Here’s what you need to know about Medicare open enrollment.

What is Medicare open enrollment?
Medicare open enrollment is a great time to review your current Medicare coverage and decide if it will meet your needs for the upcoming year. You should receive an Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) in the mail which will inform you of any changes in coverage, costs, or service area. Here’s what you can do during open enrollment:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage.
  • Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare.
  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Switch to a different Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
  • Enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if you didn’t enroll when you were first eligible for Medicare.

Do you need to make changes during Medicare open enrollment?
You don’t need to make changes during Medicare open enrollment period if you’re satisfied with your current coverage and it will still be available for the upcoming year. In general, your current coverage will be renewed automatically unless you take action, as long as you continue paying your premiums.

Is open enrollment different for Advantage plans, original medicare, or supplement plans?
It’s important to note that the general Medicare enrollment period does not apply to Medigap supplement plans. In most cases, you’ll have to enroll in a supplement plan one time, when you first turn 65 or enroll in Part B, whichever comes later. Missing this period can cause you to pay a higher premium and settle for limited coverage for life.

Also, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan during your initial enrollment period or the Medicare open enrollment period, you can change to another Advantage plan or revert to Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period. This begins on January 1st and ends on March 31st.

Is Medicare open enrollment only once a year?
Medicare open enrollment only happens once a year. It’s always October 15th to December 7th. If you miss Medicare open enrollment, you’re not necessarily out of luck. You might be able to make changes to your plan during a Special Enrollment Period. Here are some situations which might make you eligible.

  • You no longer live in your plan’s service area.
  • You moved into, out of or currently live in a skilled nursing facility or long-term care hospital.
  • You left your employer-based or union-based health insurance plan.
  • You’re moving back to the United States after living abroad.
  • Your plan is terminating its contract with Medicare.

Contact MAIR Agency Today
If you’re interested in learning more about Medicare open enrollment or would like to find the right health insurance plan for your unique situation, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process.

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We were contracted by Blue Cross NC in 1996 and quickly became an Exclusive Presidents Club Agency for them, maintaining this top producing agency level year after year. We are honored to receive the #1 Medicare Agency in North Carolina for two years in a row.

This award and acknowledgment requires much more than selling a product. This recognition requires our agency to exhibit unsurpassed customer service as well as provide advisors/agents that are consistently the most informed, educated and best support-arm for you, our clients.

We thank our existing clients for having the faith and trust in us that brought us to this achievement. For those of you approaching the need to now benefit from the Medicare you supported for many years with your tax dollars, and maybe some of you that wonder if you have made the best choices in the past, we welcome you to give The Mair Agency an opportunity to meet you. We will ensure you have complete knowledge of all your options and perhaps become a family member of the #1 agency in North Carolina with BlueCross and BlueShield.