.Q: When is Medicare Open Enrollment?
A: The annual Medicare Open Enrollment period begins on October 15 and continues until December 7. For 2020 coverage, open enrollment will run from October 15, 2019, to December 7, 2019.
During the annual enrollment period (AEP) you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage.
You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa. You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another. And if you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were fi rst eligible, you can do so during the general open enrollment, although a late enrollment penalty may apply.
If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, you must meet some basic criteria. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B.You must live in the plan’s service area. You cannot have End-Stage Renal Disease (some exceptions apply; ESRD patients will be able to enroll in Medicare Advantage plans as of 2021, under the terms of the 21st Century Cures Act).
Is auto-renewal available?
If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and you don’t want to make changes to your coverage for the coming year, you don’t need to do anything during open enrollment, assuming your current plan will continue to be available. If your plan is being discontinued and isn’t eligible for renewal, you will receive a non-renewal notice from your carrier prior to open enrollment. If you don’t, it means you can keep your plan without doing anything during open enrollment.
But be aware that your benefi ts and premium could change from one year to the next. So even if you’re confi dent that you want to keep your current coverage for next year, it’s important to make sure you understand any changes that may apply, and that you’ve double checked to make sure that your current plan is still the best available option. The available plans and what they cover changes from one year to the next, so even if the plan you have now was the best option when you shopped last year, it’s important to verify that again before you lock yourself in for another year.
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