What Is The Annual Election Period For Medicare?

By: Edward Neeman
Published: Wednesday, September 19 2018
Last Updated: 4 years ago

As we get older, our healthcare needs begin to change, so why should our coverage stay the same? Even though Medicare covers the majority of our medical bills, there are still out-of-pocket expenses to take into account, which may change over the years. That’s where the Annual Election Period (AEP) comes into play.

What Is The Annual Election Period For Medicare?

The Annual Election Period, or AEP, happens in the fall of every year. This is a time when you are allowed to change the policy that you have, or you could review your coverage. You might need to speak to someone about Open Enrollment, and you might prefer to speak to someone who will explain which policy you should change to. Look below at what happens when you use the AEP correctly because you might need a new plan.

Annual Election Period 2019 - Dates And Deadlines

Medicare Open Enrollment 2019 happens from October 15th through December 7th. These dates are set up so that you have time to get into the AEP, and you are allowed to ask questions of your local Medicare office or call the service center. You might need an extension Medicare Open Enrollment 2019, and you could send in forms up to the deadline so that they can be processed.

You must find out what the postmark date is for your forms, and you should work with someone in your local Medicare office so that they can process your papers faster. You cannot get caught up in the red tape of Medicare near the deadline.

Do You Have To Review Medicare Every Year?

You are not required to review your Medicare during the Annual Election Period, but you must take a moment during the AEP to decide if you need to do anything. You can leave your Medicare the way that it is, but you might need to change the next year.

The people that change their Medicare are usually the same people who need more coverage or additional options for finding a doctor. Open Enrollment is simply a time for you to make choices that will impact the next year. Someone who is happy with their coverage can stand pat for as long as they want. Reviewing Medicare every year could turn out to be laborious for someone who does not have medical problems, but it could be a good lifeline for someone who has had problems with doctors, medications, and other services.

Changes To Medicare's Open Enrollment Policy

The Medicare Open Enrollment 2019 is a little bit different because Medicare has slightly changed how they allow people to enter the program. They allow people who just turned 65 to change their plan, and they allow for extensions that were not there in the past.

The people who need to get a different plan will find that they can change quickly, and they still have a 30-day change period after they have signed up. This is something that allows people to get on the plan that they want, and it helps them avoid problems that are usually caused when they just do not have enough coverage for something specific.

New Medicare Advantage OEP

The Medicare Advantage plans are very different because they are usually HSA plans. You could use a health savings or health spending account to get the best possible care, but you will find that you only need a plan like this when you need extra cash to care for yourself or the family. You might want to sign up for one of these plans under Medicare Part C this year, and you can get in during the Open Enrollment. You could also cancel your advantage plan if you do not need it anymore

Reasons To Consider Switching Plans

You should consider switching plans for a number of reasons. People change their plans when they are trying to get coverage from a specific doctor, and you must ask if the doctors that you want are on the plan that you are changing too. You might want to change plans so that you have more money to work with, or you could change plans when your doctor changes plans. Your doctor could change panels at any time, and you might prefer to follow that person so that you always get the care that you need.

You have every right to change your Medicare plan at any time, but you have a time during the year when it is very simple. You could use the AEP to get your plan onto the right level of coverage, and you can ask questions of the service center. You must ask questions of the people who run Medicare if you are confused, or you might need to chat with the people that manage your plan.

They could let you know if they have doctors on their plan you want to see, or you could move to a new company because they appear to have better coverage. You also get a change period so that you can switch back if there is a problem.

Switch Your Coverage This AEP With FirstQuote Medicare

FirstQuote Medicare can help answer any questions you have surrounding your Medicare coverage, both during and outside of the Annual Election Period. By entering your zip code, you will be able to talk to experienced live agents for free! You can even compare Medicare quotes in your area to find a plan that fits your needs and budget. Get started, and get covered today.