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Medicare Annual Enrollment Period: 4 Questions to Ask Your Agent

It’s easy to get overwhelmed during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. You’re getting advertisements and notifications from every direction and you want to make the most of this critical enrollment opportunity. We’ve compiled a few tips on how to get focused and find the options that are right for you.

But, in case you’re not familiar with the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, let’s start with a quick overview.

Medicare Annual Enrollment Basics

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is also sometimes called Medicare Open Enrollment. It occurs from October 15 through December 7 each year. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in or drop Medicare Advantage, Supplement, and Prescription Drug (Part D) Plans.

Outside of this enrollment period, you may not be able to make changes to your coverage except in “special circumstances.” Changes are made to Medicare plans every year—sometimes adding or removing benefits, changing costs, or even adding or removing entire plans in certain areas. That’s why it make sense to re-evaluate your coverage every year during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. You may be able to gain benefits or lower your costs.

Questions to Ask Your Agent

So, it’s Medicare Annual Enrollment time, and you’re contacting an insurance agent to look at different plans. What do you ask to find out if you have options that might work better for you? Here are a few suggestions:

Are there any 5-star Medicare plans in my area?
Medicare plans are rated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on a 5-star system. Five stars is the best rating a plan can receive.

Could I save money by switching to a new plan?
Money is a significant deciding factor in healthcare coverage for many people. While a lower-cost plan may not always be what’s right for your situation, it’s worth asking to find out if there are more affordable plans that include the coverage you need.

What new benefits are available to me with a different plan?
CMS recently allowed insurance carriers to include some new benefits in Medicare Advantage Plans, such as meal delivery, transportation, caregiver support, and more. If there are any services you need but currently don’t have in your plan, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is the time to find out if there are other plans in your area that provide this coverage.

Are there any $0 premium, $0 deductible, and $0 copay plans I can enroll in?
While the additional benefits in a Medicare Advantage Plan are often worth paying a little extra, you may also be able to enroll in a plan that has a $0 premium, $0 deductible, and $0 copay. If a plan like that is available in your area, you may be able to get benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t include without paying any additional costs.

Get Help during Annual Enrollment

We offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations with our Licensed Insurance Agents, who represent a number of respected insurance carriers. Call 1-800-991-4407 / TTY 711 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday, and get answers to these questions and more. We’ll help you find the plan that’s right for you.