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Medicare OEP for Advantage Plans runs January 1 through March 31

Most people are aware that the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs from October 15 to December 7. It starts in early October and lasts until well after the holidays, when a barrage of commercials starring aging sports icons and actors appears on television for the first time in decades. If you're not happy with your previous choice, you can still change it during the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) from January 1 through March 31. It also happens to coincide with the Medicare General Open Enrollment Period when you can apply for Medicare if you didn't enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period when you turned 65.

As part of your Open Enrollment Period (OEP), you can change your Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to Original Medicare (including a Part D drug plan). Underwriting may be required for Medicare Supplemental Plans, unless you have been in your Advantage Plan less than a year or have a Special Enrollment Period that applies to you (like moving out of your Advantage Plan's service area).

There are several reasons you might not be happy with your original choice, including: Learning your doctor is not in the plan's network – Learning that some of your medications are not included in the plan's formulary – Realizing that the cost of your medications with the plan is higher than you expected – Finding there is a limited network of available doctors and specialists.

Regardless of your reason, you will be able to alter your plan without having to wait until October 15, the beginning of the Annual Enrollment Period. Your updated plan will begin on February 1 if you choose a plan in January. Otherwise, your effective date will be April 1. During OEP, compared to the Annual Enrollment Period when you are able to choose from several plans with the last application submitted becoming your final choice, you will only be able to select one option.

We can assist you if you have questions about your Medicare coverage during OEP and any other time of the year. As a licensed agent I can help you find a plan in your area that meets your budget and lifestyle needs.

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