Welcome to the KIPDA Open Enrollment Edition

Medicare Open Enrollment dates

What is the Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?

Also called the Annual Election Period, the Medicare Fall OEP came about with the introduction of Medicare Part D in 2006. It is an 8-week period every fall during which Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in, change, or disenroll from their Medicare Advantage and/or Part D drug plans.

Here is why the period exists: Part D plans and Medicare Advantage plans get to re-file their benefits with Medicare each year.

This means the benefits and premiums on your plan can change or go up. So, Medicare lets you have an election period each year to change your plan if you do not like the changes to your existing coverage.

In short: your Part D benefits change every year, so you get an election period to change your plan if you do not like those benefit changes.

Now, the good news is that you do NOT have to change your plan if you like your plan. In fact, statistics show that most beneficiaries do NOT make changes to their plan each year. However, you should be reviewing the upcoming plan changes every September.

How Do I Know if I Need to Make Changes to my Plan?

Your Medicare Advantage or Part D Insurance plan provider will send you a document in September called the Annual Notice of Change. Take 15 minutes to sit down and review this document. It will tell you if the premium is changing, and if your copays, drug formulary or pharmacy networks are changing.

The first day you can apply for a new Part D plan is October 15. Your new plan will become effective January 1, 2021. If you or someone you know needs help with anything related to your Medicare plans or has questions, contact KIPDA at 502-266-5571 and ask to speak with a SHIP Counselor. Read on to the next article to learn more!