Plan Ahead! It’s Annual Open Enrollment for Medicare.
Whether you’re new to Medicare or looking to change your existing plan, we want to help you choose the right plan to fit your lifestyle and budget!
About Medicare’s Annual Election Period (Fall Open Enrollment)
Every year between October 15 and December 7, current Medicare enrollees can change their Medicare coverage. This is the perfect time to explore a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that might better fit your needs. We’ll outline what you need to know as you consider your options and we’re always here to answer any questions!
Switch during Annual Enrollment
starting Oct 15
Switch during the Annual Enrollment
between Oct 15 – Dec 7
Switch until Annual Enrollment
deadline on Dec 7
October 15, 2021
Medicare Annual Enrollment period begins
December 07, 2021
Medicare Annual Enrollment period closes
January 01, 2022
New Medicare coverage becomes active
What is Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage is also referred to as Medicare Part C or simply Part C.
You cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan and Medicare Supplement insurance at the same time.
It’s an alternative way to get Medicare coverage through a private insurance company instead of directly through the federal government.
If the Medicare Advantage plan you choose does not cover prescription drugs you can add a Medicare Part D plan which is specifically for prescription drug coverage.
You must already be enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A & Part B) to qualify for Medicare Advantage.
What does Medicare Advantage (Part C) cover?
Same coverage as Original Medicare (known as Parts A & B) Note: you must first be enrolled in Original Medicare to be covered by Medicare Advantage
Most Medicare Advantage plans also provide:
Prescription drug coverage
Routine dental and vision care
Hearing care and allowances for hearing aids
May also cover cost of non-emergency transportation, home health care, telehealth and other preventive modifications plus wellness programs with fitness benefits like exercise classes
Costs of Medicare Advantage plans are not standardized so what you pay will depend on several factors including the plan specifics, the provider and where you live. Some Medicare Advantage plans feature $0 premiums, but those plans aren't available in all locations.
Once enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan you may have to pay some or all of the following costs:
A premium is the amount you pay every month for your health insurance. Some Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans have a $0 monthly premium. However, you still have to pay the Part B premium.
A deductible is what you pay yearly for medical care and prescriptions before your health plan begins to share in the cost of covered services. Most Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans have both a plan deductible and a drug deductible. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer a $0 plan deductible.
Copayments and coinsurance
Copayments are the costs you may owe for medical care like doctor’s visits. Coinsurance amounts are any percentage of services you must pay out of pocket (expenses not reimbursed by insurance) after your deductible has been met. If your plan charges a copayment for doctor’s office and specialist visits and you have a chronic health condition or make frequent office visits, your costs might add up quickly which is something to consider.
Maximum on out-of-pocket costs (expenses not reimbursed by insurance) like copayments, coinsurance and deductibles
One plus of Medicare Advantage (Part C ) is that all of the plans have an out-of-pocket (expenses not reimbursed by insurance) maximum. This amount varies but can range from the low thousands to upward of $10,000+.
Do I need Medicare Advantage?
If you want certain benefits that aren’t covered by Original Medicare (Parts A & B) like routine vision care, dental, hearing aids or coverage for prescription drugs, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan, many of which bundle options like these into one plan. Medicare Advantage also includes an annual out-of-pocket (expenses not reimbursed by insurance) spending limit on in-network expenses.
Am I eligible for Medicare Advantage?
To qualify for Medicare Advantage (Part C) you need to meet two main eligibility requirements:
You must already be enrolled in Original Medicare (Part A & Part B)
Medicare Advantage plans must be available in your area
When can I enroll in Medicare Advantage?
Below are some of the circumstances when you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan:
Initial Coverage Election Period (ICEP)
This begins three months before the month you turn 65, includes your birthday month and ends either the last day of the month before you enroll in Medicare Part B or the last day of your Initial Enrollment Period which is three months after you turn 65, whichever comes later. You may also enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during this period if you are newly eligible because you have a disability and are under age 65. For this to occur, you must first qualify for Original Medicare.
Oct 15 - Dec 7
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)
From October 15 – December 7 each year you can join, switch, or drop a plan. Your coverage will begin on January 1 as long as the plan receives your request by December 7. You can also use the Annual Enrollment Period to disenroll from Medicare Advantage (Part C) and switch back to Original Medicare (Parts A & B).
Jan 1 - Mar 31
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period
This period runs between January 1 – March 31 and allows a one-time change to your current Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan by changing your policy to another or switching back to Original Medicare (Parts A & B). You cannot make any changes to your coverage unless you already have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, so this time period is not to join a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan for the first time.
Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
Also known as special circumstances, during this period you may change or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan if you meet certain criteria including:
Change of residence that isn’t in the service area of your current plan or offers different or new plan options in your new location.
You live in, are moving into, or recently moved out of a nursing home or long-term care facility.
You’ve moved back to the U.S. after living outside of the country.
You’ve been released from jail.
You lose your current coverage.
Your plan changes or terminates its contract with Medicare.
There’s an opportunity for you to get other coverage.
Which Medicare Advantage Plan is best?
It depends on your specific situation and needs. If you need guidance about which Medicare Advantage plan works best for you, please call us at (888) 928-1456 TTY: 711 to speak with a licensed sales agent by phone or in person. We understand the challenges involved with choosing the right plan and are happy to help guide you through the process so you’re confident in your choice!
Ready to explore your Medicare coverage options?
Whether you're new to Medicare or want to explore your options, we're here to help!
Medicare Supplement coverage
Works with Original Medicare to pay out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles (Part A), coinsurance, copayments. Not every insurance company offers all of the 10 standardized plans. Your myHealthPolicy insurance agent can help you find a plan offering the coverage you prefer.
Medicare Part D is voluntary prescription drug coverage that you can choose to add to your Original Medicare. Many Medicare Advantage plans include Part D coverage among their benefits. Under Original Medicare, you will need to seek out a Part D standalone plan.