OK boomer, so you think you made the wrong choice during Medicare’s Annual Election Period. Now what? The Medicare Open Enrollment Period will allow you to make changes to an existing Medicare plan. Keep reading to find out if you’re eligible to use this enrollment period and how to make a change.
When is the Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?
Medicare Open Enrollment begins each year on January 1st and ends on March 31st. Anyone with a Medicare Advantage Plan can make a plan change during this time period. You cannot use this enrollment period to initiate coverage if you never choose a plan.
What changes can I make during OEP?
Anyone with a Medicare Advantage Plan can move to another Medicare Advantage plan with or without drug coverage. You can also go back to Original Medicare and add part D drug plan.
Who may benefit from this Enrollment Period?
Here are some examples:
You called one of the 800 numbers from a TV Advertisement or responded to a mail piece to enroll in a plan during the AEP. You received your card and welcome package, everything seems fine until you go to use the new plan. Now you are finding out this plan is not what you thought it was. You made a mistake, it happens. The 800 number led you to a call center just north of Guam and the agent didn’t know the local networks, plan differences or even about the prescription assistance program you just got approved for. You can use this enrollment period to switch your plan.
Perhaps you are enrolled in an HMO but you need the flexibility of a PPO. Take this opportunity and make your change.
The agent you worked with only had 1 or 2 options for you to choose from. You found out after there was a better plan that you want to enroll in. This is your time to switch to a Medicare plan that will better fit your needs.
You didn’t check the plan’s formulary or forgot about a medication you’re taking. You find out your prescription is not covered, or in a higher tier that is costing you more than you want to pay. Use the Open Enrollment Period to choose a plan that will cover your prescription costs.
You had no idea what you did but you know you don’t like it. To your advantage, you are not married to that mistake. You don’t need a reason to use the enrollment period to get what you want regarding coverage options.
How to change your plan during OEP
The majority of mistakes stem from the examples above, Medicare plans are localized in nature. To minimize mistakes when choosing the correct plan, make sure you work with a local agent that offers multiple carriers. Also, make sure your agent is licensed to offer both Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement Plans.
Regional carriers may often be more competitive than national carriers. National Carriers have a lot of marketing power and call centers, but oftentimes do not know detailed information about local networks, or subsidies.
Best practice involves a consultative approach with a local agent. If you’re looking to make a change or just need some good advice, it is best to speak with a Licensed Local Agent who can look into your individual situation. We offer a complimentary review service to take advantage of. Give us a call at 844 611 ZERO (9376) or request a review by clicking below.