If you want to change your Medicare coverage, now is the time to do it.
Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment Period begins October 15 and lasts through December 7.
During the Open Enrollment Period, you can choose to:
*Switch from Original Medicare (Parts A & B) to a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan.
*Switch from a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan to Original Medicare (Parts A & B).
*Switch from one Part C plan to another.
*Switch from one Part D plan (prescription drug plan) to another.
*Enroll in a Part D plan, if you didn’t when you first enrolled in Medicare.2
This is the time to review the materials that your plan sends you annually – the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) or “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) documents. Take a look at them to see if there are any changes that affect you. Pharmacy, premium, or coverage changes could prompt you to look for a new plan.1,2
If you are satisfied with your current coverage, you don’t need to do anything – it will remain in effect as long as the premiums are paid. If you aren’t, this is the time to compare features on plans and sign up for a new one for 2017. (You may want to look into having some Medigap coverage in place during the changeover.)
Two other time periods to note:
January 1-February 14: If you have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan for 2017 and decide that you want to switch back to Original Medicare, this is the annual grace period in which you can do so. If you do this, your deadline to enroll in a Part D plan is February 14 with Part D coverage starting on the first day of the following month.
January 1-March 31: If you didn’t sign up for Original Medicare when you were first eligible to receive it, you can do so in this window – but you might face a late enrollment penalty. Your Part A & B coverage will start on July 1.2
Michael Moffitt is a Registered Representative with and Securities are offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investments advice offered through Advan tage Investment Management (AIM), a registered investment advisor. Cornerstone Financial Group and AIM are separate entities from LPL Financial.
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1 – cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Reach-Out/Find-tools-to-help-you-help-others/Medicare-Open-Enrollment.html [9/15/16]
2 – medicareresources.org/faqs/when-is-the-next-medicare-open-enrollment-period/ [5/3/16]