Medicare: Open Enrollment Has Ended…What’s Next?

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You may be aware that October 15th through December 7th is the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), also known as the Annual Election Period (AEP), that allows Medicare beneficiaries to switch Medicare Advantage Plans or Prescription Drug Plans.  This is also the time period they can enroll in these plans for the first time if they did not enroll during their Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP) or a qualifying Special Election Period (SEP).

However, these aren’t the only important dates that Medicare beneficiaries may need to be aware of! Here are some other important dates:

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP)—This runs from January 1st through March 31st and allows beneficiaries who are enrolled in an Advantage plan to (a) switch to another Advantage plan or (b) switch back to Original Medicare (and join a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan). Medicare beneficiaries who are enrolled in an Advantage plan may only make up to one change during this election period annually.

5-star special enrollment period—Every Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare drug plan, and Medicare Cost Plan receives a performance rating between 1 and 5 stars. This special enrollment period allows you to switch from your current Medicare plan to a Medicare plan with a 5-star rating from December 8 through November 30th of the following year. Like the MAOEP, you can use this election period up to one time per cycle.

Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP)—From January 1st through March 31st, Medicare-eligible individuals who missed their Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) and do not qualify for a Special Election Period (SEP) can enroll in Medicare. Coverage begins the month after application. Beneficiaries may be subject to a late enrollment penalty.

Medicare Moment, brought to you by the Hummel Group, shares important information about Medicare in 300 words or less! If you would like to speak to a licensed insurance agent to discuss your Medicare options, call 330-683-1050. 

Written by Steven Thomas Smith



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