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Open Enrollment Period – what is it and why should I pay attention?

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

An Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is relatively new to the Medicare population. It begins on January 1 and runs through March 31. It is the only time you can make a one-time change to your Medicare Advantage plan – you can change plans with the carrier or change carriers all together. Your changes will take effect the first day of the following month following the date your application is submitted. You can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another or you can disenroll from your current Medicare Advantage and return to original Medicare but if you do, you can apply for a Medicare Part D drug plan.

Although this OEP is not technically a do-over for the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) from October 15 through December 7, it is a time to reassess your current Medicare Advantage plan. Why would you do this? Sometimes a doctor(s) may leave the network that your Medicare Advantage plan has. These changes typically take place on January 1 of any given year therefore it is a good idea to ensure your doctor(s) are in the network. Another reason to reassess could be that you just found out that another Medicare Advantage plan is assigned to you because maybe your 2021 plan was “crosswalked” to another plan (see your Annual Notice of Change) or you were “poached” to another company (whether you agreed to it or not).

If you are unsure of whether the plan you want is assigned to your Medicare Beneficiary ID, you can call your insurance carrier and have them check on that for you. You can then verify that your Medicare Advantage plan contract number matches what you expected to see.

Your medical and prescription drug coverage is an important tool to mitigate your financial risk. Talk to us and we can do the leg work for you.


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