This guest post was graciously provided by Danielle Kunckle, co-founder of Boomer Benefits.
Medicare has a variety of election periods that beneficiaries can use to enroll in or change their plan selections. The period that occurs every year in the fall is referred to as the Annual Election Period or the Fall Open Enrollment. It runs from October 15th – December 7th.
The reason for the December 7th deadline is that your plan changes will take effect on January 1st. By making the deadline on the 7th, Medicare ensures that it has time to process all the changes and that your new insurance company has an opportunity to get your new ID cards mailed out to you. They want to have your cards in hand in case you have medical appointments scheduled for the first week in January.
We often find that many people are confused about what they should be doing each year during this period to review their coverage. This confusion is compounded by the barrage of mailers and phone calls and solicitations you get each fall from insurance companies. Fortunately, the fall open enrollment period only affects Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans. If you have a Medigap plan, that plan does not change benefits annually, so there is no need to worry about that.
We’ve created this handy checklist to walk you through the steps you should take very fall to review your current Part D or Medicare Advantage coverage, decide if you need to change, and find a new plan. Follow these steps for open enrollment success every year.