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What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

What is the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?

If it seems like you just finished enrolling for your 2023 Medicare benefits, it’s because you did. However, if you selected a Medicare Advantage plan, then you have one more chance to update your selection. Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period is similar to Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period. It just gives Medicare Advantage members another opportunity to get the coverage they want and need.

How is AEP Different from OEP?

There’s really just one main difference between Medicare’s enrollment periods, and that’s who can participate in them. Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is for anyone who has or qualifies for Medicare, and the Medicare Advantage OEP is, as the name implies, for those who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan.

Both enrollment periods happen each year, with AEP occurring from October 15 – December 7 and Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment from January 1 – March 31.

What Changes Can Be Made During OEP?

As previously mentioned, OEP is only for those Medicare members who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. During this three-month window, you can make the following changes:

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
  • Disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan, returning to Original Medicare
  • Pick up a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan after returning to Original Medicare

You can only make one change to your plan during this period, so ensure you’re updating your coverage wisely. You won’t be able to make any other changes until the Annual Enrollment Period unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

Who Should Enroll During Medicare Advantage OEP?

There are a few different scenarios that might push you to enroll during Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. If you enrolled in a new Medicare Advantage plan during AEP and, as it turns out, you’re not happy with your network of doctors or pharmacies, you should consider exploring your options further during OEP. If you chose the wrong plan during AEP, OEP is your chance to correct it. And, finally, if you were pressured into a plan that you’re not happy with, take the time to sort through the several other Medicare Advantage plans and find one that fits your needs.

Things to Consider During OEP?

Just as you did during AEP, you need to keep the following things in mind when selecting a new Medicare Advantage plan during OEP:

  • Are your doctors and other providers in the plan’s network
  • Are your prescription drugs covered
  • Are you comfortable with all costs: deductibles, premiums, copays
  • Does the plan offer additional coverage: dental, vision, hearing
  • Are you happy with the plan’s additional benefits: fitness programs, transportation assistance

If you need help sorting out your current plan benefits and/or finding a new plan that best fits your healthcare needs, contact us at 866-926-3831. We’ll put you in contact with one of our preferred brokers for assistance. They’ll be able to answer all of your questions and provide you with the assistance you need.