MMA Blog

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) - Are You Ready?

Mark your calendars for October 15th to December 7th for the 2012 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP. This is the one opportunity each year for individuals already enrolled in Medicare to make changes to their Medicare Prescription Drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan with coverage effective January 1, 2013.

What changes can Medicare beneficiaries make during the AEP?

  • Change from Original Medicare (Part A &Part B) to a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare
  • Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D)
  • Change from one Part D plan to another
  • Drop a Part D plan

If this is your first time joining a Medicare Prescription Drug plan be aware that you may incur a Late Enrollment Penalty if you have not had prior creditable prescription drug coverage.  For those who are already enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan and are happy with your coverage there is nothing you need to do, your current plan will automatically renew for 2013.

To help prepare for the start of the AEP here are some helpful tips:

  • Be on the lookout for your Annual Notice of Change letter from your current plan provider. This letter will summarize any changes in premium and benefits for the upcoming plan year.
  • Make a list of you current medications or stop by your pharmacy and ask them for a printout This list will be helpful when researching Prescription Drug plans to determine if your medications are covered by the plan's formulary and can also help project out of pocket expenses for the upcoming year.
  • If you're currently enrolled or considering enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan you'll also want to gather a list of your current medical providers.  Since most Medicare Advantage plans have network restrictions or limitations you'll want to ensure you can continue to see your current providers.

Progressive Benefit Solutions provides free consultations that can help you find the right Medicare Prescription Drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan for your needs.

Posted October 29, 2012

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