What To Do When You Miss Medicare's AEP

What To Do When You Miss Medicare's AEP

Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) is a great opportunity for beneficiaries to make changes to their coverage, but if you missed the deadline of December 7, you still have some options to consider.

1. Stay with your current coverage. If you did not make any changes during AEP, the insurance coverage you already had will remain intact and continue as is, unless you received information from your insurance carrier informing you otherwise. You can review their most updated benefits information and call them directly if you have any specific questions regarding your coverage in the new year.

2. Take advantage of the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period. If you currently have coverage through a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan and want to make a change, you can take advantage of the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period, but your options are limited. You can drop your MA plan and return to Original Medicare, (with or without adding a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan [PDP] to your coverage) from January 1 through February 14. You should consider this option carefully, as your benefits and costs may vary greatly from your current coverage. If you currently have a Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage, and are considering moving to a PDP, check a plan’s formulary, or list of covered drugs, before enrolling, to make certain that any current medications you take will be covered at a cost you can afford.  If you choose to revert to Original Medicare, you may want to consider supplementing the coverage with a Medigap policy. Medigap (also known as Medicare Supplement) policies are sold by private insurance companies to help cover the costs that Original Medicare does not, including coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles.

3. Find out if you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Depending on your circumstances, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.  If you move out of your insurance plan’s coverage area, move into or out of a skilled nursing facility, change your marital status, lose a job, have a baby, or experience other life changes, you may qualify to make a change in your coverage.

4. Determine if a Special Needs Plan (SNP) may be an option. If you develop a chronic health condition, you may become eligible for a Special Needs Plan. Medicare SNPs limit membership to people with specific diseases or characteristics, and tailor their benefits, provider choices, and drug formularies (list of covered drugs) to best meet the specific needs of the groups they serve. SNPs are designed specifically for individuals who are dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, or have been diagnosed with certain illnesses, including, but not limited to, End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Alzheimer’s Disease, HIV/AIDS, chronic lung disorders, chronic heart failure, and neurologic disorders.

Not sure which Medicare plan is right for you? We can help. Contact us at (888) 956-7735 - TTY 711 to speak with a licensed sales agent.