Whether this is your first time experiencing Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period or your tenth time, it’s always just as chaotic and confusing. We are doing the absolute best we can to make sure our clients are prepared for this time of year so the process can go smoothly for 2022 AEP.
There are a few things you should know when navigating the 2022 AEP.
What is the Annual Enrollment Period?
Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) happens every fall. It runs from October 15 – December 7. Any changes you make to your Medicare plans will go into effect on January 1 of the upcoming year.
During AEP, you are allowed to make changes to your Part C and/or Part D plan. Part C is also called Medicare Advantage. These plans bundle your Original Medicare (Parts A and B) coverage with some additional benefits. Part D plans contain prescription drug coverage. Usually, if you have a Part C plan, it will already include prescription drug coverage, so you don’t usually have both types of plans.
Changes you can make during AEP includes doing any of the following:
Switching from one Part D plan to another Part D plan
Switching from one Part C plan to another Part C plan
Switching from a Part C plan back to Original Medicare
Switching from Original Medicare to a Part C plan
Of course, you can also change any of your other coverage like your Dental, Vision, Hearing (DVH) policy or your Medigap plan, but these can be changed year-round. We recommend making changes to these policies outside of AEP as processing times can take much longer during this busy season.
Your Navigation Guide
Now that you know what AEP is, let’s walk through the process of preparing for AEP.
Of course, you can also change any of your other coverage like your Dental, Vision, Hearing (DVH) policy or your Medigap plan
1. Review your ANOC and EOC.
Your current plan carriers must mail you a copy of both the ANOC and EOC every year no later than September 30. As long as you have kept your address up-to-date, you should receive these documents in early October.
Let’s talk about what each one is and why they are important to review.
ANOC: Annual Notice of Change
Just like it sounds, the ANOC will provide you with information about how your current plan is changing. This may include changes to the premium, deductible, or overall coverage.
EOC: Evidence of Coverage
Your EOC will arrive with your ANOC. The EOC is a breakdown of your current coverage, prior to any changes that will be made to the plan in 2022. You can review this and then take a look at the ANOC. Doing that will give you a good idea of what to expect from the plan if you choose to keep it for 2022.
This is a great document to keep so that you can reference it throughout the year if you have questions about how your plan works.
2. Make a list.
Now that you are familiar with your current plan and how that plan is changing, it’s time to make a list! You should write down all the things you do or do not like about your current coverage. Maybe you started taking a new medication that it doesn’t cover, or you want to see a doctor that’s not in your current plan’s service area. Jot down all the things that you would like to see on your 2022 plan. That will help our agents find a new plan that fits those needs.
3. Schedule an appointment.
Now that you’re prepared, call The Medicare Gurus to schedule your annual review! Our appointments book up very quickly this time of year, so make this appointment as soon as you can. If you like planning further ahead, you can even schedule this prior to receive your ANOC and EOC in the mail.
Even if you do not receive those documents before your appointment, we will be able to look at your current plan and talk about any changes that will be made.
4. Sit back and enjoy the holidays!
That’s it! There is a lot of hype around the AEP that makes it seem more chaotic than it should be. As long as you plan ahead and understand your plan, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. If you are able to schedule early, you’ll be finished long before the holidays roll around!
While this process doesn’t have to be complicated, we can’t stress enough how important it is to schedule an appointment with us. Even if you are happy with your plan now, we want to make sure that any upcoming changes will not negatively impact your unique needs. Plus, we may be able to find you a plan that offers the same coverage for a lower premium!
Give the gurus at Shannon Speir Insurance a call today and get ready for AEP!