During the annual election period (AEP), medicare plan enrollees can reevaluate their coverage and make changes, enroll or dis-enroll from the plan. Your changes will be effective on January 1st, 2022. It is essential to review your existing coverage every year to get the best-suited policy for your medical needs. Seven out of ten Medicare enrollees forget to check their policy every year. This means that they lost the opportunity to lower their costs for health insurance. Don’t let 2022 kick off with you owning the wrong Medicare or Prescription insurance plan and review your Medicare coverage.
What switches can you make during the Medicare Annual Enrollment period?
This year’s annual election period starts October 15th and ends on December 7th, don’t skip out on the chance to put yourself into the best plan for next year. Anyone can use the Annual Election Period (AEP) to make changes to their Medicare coverage. Every year, you can use our Medicare plan finder tool for free to review the available plans.
*Avoid letting your existing plan auto-renew without reviewing it. If you forget to do this, your policy can end up being much more expensive. This is because each year, your medicare insurer can update their plans. They can update their policies: the prices of your existing policy, your policy’s network can change, or your plan’s formulary can change.
Here’s an overview of the switches you could make:
1. Change to a Medicare Advantage plan from Original Medicare.
This plan is for people who want extra benefits such as vision, dental, and hearing or lower out-of-pocket costs. Sometimes you can get more coverage for less with an Advantage Plan than with your Original Medicare plan. Go to number three in this list to overview the available plans and Medicare Advantage tips.
2. Change from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare, Part A, and Part B.
If you would rather have a simple plan without the extra benefits because you don’t use them or want a more extensive provider network. You can drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare. Make sure to check if you need to add a prescription plan part D to avoid late penalties.
3. Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another.
You can switch your Medicare Advantage plan if your medical needs have changed. Or if other plans have expanded their benefits.
There are different types of Medicare Advantage plans.
- HMO (Health Maintenance Organization):
- PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)
- PFFS (Private Fee-for-Service)
- SNP (Special Needs Plan)
- HMO-POS (Health Maintenance Organization Point-of-Service)
- MSA (Medical Savings Account).
Check with a licensed insurance agent at Policy Engineer which plan best fits your needs during AEP. Since advantage plans are not standardized, you may prefer a different insurer that may provide additional benefits. With our Medicare plan finder, you can review Medicare plans and enroll in the one that fits your needs and budget.
4. Enroll in a Part D prescription drug plan.
When your creditable coverage stops because you stopped working or changed jobs, you will need to enroll in a Part D prescription plan to avoid late enrollment penalties.
Late Enrollment Penalty part D: For each month you delay enrollment in Medicare Part D, you will have to pay a 1% Part D late enrollment penalty (LEP)
*If you have creditable coverage, keep the Certificate of Creditable Coverage in your records as proof. You might need to show this later on.
5. Switch from one Part D plan to another.
6. Change from one Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan to another.
You don’t have to wait until AEP to change your Medigap plan. However, if you want to change your Medigap plan, you might have to go through medical underwriting. Unless you still have the guaranteed issue rights due to your situation. If you don’t have the guaranteed issue rights anymore, the insurer can refuse to sell you a plan, offer you a plan with less coverage, or charge you more because of your health. Choosing the right Medigap plan during your open enrollment period is very important because changing your policy after that isn’t as easy for Medigap as for the other medicare parts. Even though it is harder to change your policy, there are still many people who would want to change their Medigap plan. Review your Medicare policy if your medical needs have changed. You might need to switch to another plan to be fully covered.
You can choose between ten Medigap plans. These ten plans have the same coverage no matter which company, so it is important to check whether you are overpaying for your policy. Sometimes, it is better to switch to a different insurer to avoid overpaying for the same policy.
How do I compare Medigap policies?
The chart below shows basic information about the different benefits that Medigap policies cover for 2021. If a percentage appears, the Medigap plan covers that percentage of the benefit, and you are responsible for the rest. For example, if the chart shows 100%, you would be responsible for zero.
6. Change from one Medicare prescription drug plan to another.
Did the number of prescriptions change, or do you need better coverage? Not all Part – D prescription insurance plans are created equal; different plans can cater to having more coverage during one or more of the four stages to your Part – D coverage. Medicare has a 4 stage structure to how you pay for prescriptions throughout the year. Get the plan that fits your needs best.
7. You can opt-out of Medicare prescription drug coverage altogether.
If you enrolled in a plan with creditable coverage, you don’t need to have Medicare Part D anymore, so don’t forget to opt-out of your Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage. You could have creditable coverage through your spouse’s work or because you enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription coverage.
Enrolling in a Medicare Plan with Policy Engineer is simple!
- Determine the type of insurance you need.
- Answer a few quick questions to get a quote.
- Pick the company and options that you prefer.
- Complete an online application yourself or schedule a virtual meeting to enroll with a licensed insurance agent at Policy Engineer.
How do you use our Medicare plan finder?
With our Medicare plan finder tool, you can review the available plans in your zip code. After you pick the plan that fits your medical needs best, you can self-enroll.
Check the star rating when Selecting a Medicare plan. These ratings are updated every year and will help you compare. The stars are based on:
- Quality of the plans
- Member satisfaction surveys, plans, and providers
- Performance on more than 50 key factors.
When is your Medicare sign-up window?
Your sign-up window is from 3 months before your birth month when you turn 65 to 3 months later. You have to enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B during this sign-up window to avoid penalties. If you don’t register in time, you may have to pay the penalty for parts B and D. You can also enroll for Medicare during the Medicare Annual Election Period.
* Late Enrollment Penalty part B: Your monthly Part B premium could be 10% higher for every entire 12-month period that you were eligible for Part B.
*Late Enrollment Penalty part D: For each month you delay enrollment in Medicare Part D, you will have to pay a 1% Part D late enrollment penalty (LEP)
Do you want to learn more about Medicare?
- Go to our Medicare page to review your Medicare coverage.
- Go to our other blogs to learn more about the different parts of Medicare.
- Schedule a consult with a Licensed Insurance Agent
Click the button below to go to our Medicare plan finder to make any changes. You can even self-enroll or schedule a meeting with a Licensed Insurance Agent to review your policy to ensure you have the coverage you need and that you are not overpaying for your Health insurance.