Warning Retirees: 5 (or 6) Annual Enrollment Dates You Don’t Want to Miss
Clip these dates up on your fridge. Write them on your calendar. Sticky note them to your bathroom mirror or your spouse’s forehead (or maybe not). Annual enrollment is approaching!
But before we get into the dates, you’ll first want to know…
What Is Annual Enrollment?
Annual enrollment is the busy time of the year for Insurance agencies such as ours. Department stores have their black Friday. Local ice cream shops have their last day of school. And Insurance companies have the Annual Enrollment Period. During this roughly 3-month time frame (October 15- December 7), all Medicare beneficiaries are free to change their plans. They can switch from:
- An Advantage Plan to a Medicare Supplement
- A Medicare Supplement to an Advantage Plan
- One Advantage Plan to another
- One Part D Drug Plan to another
- One Medicare Supplement to another (Although you can do this at any point during the year)
The Annual Enrollment Period is for any existing Medicare beneficiary. For those just turning 65 and joining Medicare, you have a different enrollment period called the Initial Enrollment Period, which is the 7-month time frame that surrounds your 65th birthday month. But for those of you who have already enrolled for the 1st time, this is for you!
There are 6 very important dates for you to remember.
- October 1
This is the day we get all the plan changes, details, benefits, and prices for the following year. It is also when we can start talking to you about which ones will best fit your needs.
- October 15
Let the games begin! Annual enrollment is officially started. You can now enroll in a new plan.
- December 7
I hope you like the choices you’ve made because, at this date, you are locked into your plans for another year. Annual enrollment is closed.
- January 1
It’s a new year, a new resolution, and—quite possibly—new insurance. This is the date any changes you made during the open enrollment period go into effect.
- January 1
I apologize for the unsettling déjà vu. I know this is a repeat, but I want to emphasize why this date is doubly important: It is also the first day of the Advantage Plan disenrollment period. Just in case you’ve got some buyer’s remorse, Medicare set up a disenrollment period where you can get out of your Advantage Plan.
- February 14
All good things must come to an end. This is the last day of Medicare’s disenrollment period. If you are in an Advantage Plan and don’t like it, this is your last chance to drop it!
BONUS: February 14th is also Valentine’s Day. You’re welcome.
And that’s it! I hope you commit these dates to memory or you write them down somewhere. If you forget it, you might regret it!
To be sure you have covered ALL of your bases, be sure to download our AEP Checklist by clicking here.
Look to switch plans during open enrollment? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation.