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What to Know About Medicare’s Enrollment Periods

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If you have a Medicare plan, you’ve likely heard the names of a few Medicare enrollment periods. You may wonder what the difference between each one is and how they apply to you.

When is each enrollment period?

·       Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is Jan. 1 – March 31.

·       Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is Oct. 15 – Dec. 7.

·       Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) differ depending on the type of SEP needed.

What can you do during each enrollment period?

OEP is exclusively for beneficiaries on a Medicare Advantage plan. During OEP, anyone on a Medicare Advantage plan can enroll in a different Medicare Advantage plan or disenroll from their current plan and return to Original Medicare. Individuals can only make one change to their plan during OEP. If a plan change is made, the new plan will go in effect the first of the following month.

AEP is for all individuals on any type of Medicare plan. During this time, you can review your current Medicare plan and explore others that may fit your needs and budget better. If you choose, you can enroll in a new plan for the upcoming year. It’s important to keep in mind what is or isn’t working for you on your plan throughout the year so we can assist you if needed once AEP comes.

When certain life events happen, SEPs allow you to make changes to your medical or prescription drug coverage. Some examples of qualifying life events include:

  • moving to a different location
  • losing other insurance coverage

and more. If you’d like to know more about SEPs, please reach out to us.

Questions about enrollment periods?

If you are not currently a RetireMed client, please schedule a call with a program advisor. RetireMed clients can schedule a call here.