The Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP, is the period near the end of the year during which you can sign up for a certain Medicare plans. This period was formerly held from October 15 through December 31. Currently, the enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7 of 2012. Many people who have Medicare often ask when this period is. It is important to know for Medicare Part D, the prescription drug part of Medicare. This is the only time of year that you can change your Medicare Part D plan, cancel it or pick up a plan if you don’t have one. So, it is important to be aware of this period, ready for it, and make any desired changes when the period opens up.
However, this period does NOT apply to Medigap plans. Contrary to popular belief, Medigap plans do not have an annual enrollment period. You can enroll in, change, or disenroll from your Medicare Supplement plan at any time. There are no time restrictions on when you can do this. Now, there is an initial enrollment period, which runs for 6 months from the time that you are first eligible for Medicare. During this time period, you can sign up for any plan with no underwriting, health questions or pre-existing condition exclusions. After that period is over, however, you can change Medigap plans at any time but you have to qualify medically to do so.
It is important to understand the various implications around changing Medigap plans. There are a lot of options for Medigap coverage and coverage is completely standardized. That is, coverage is the same with all of the companies. One Plan F is the same as another. Because of that, the rate is the primary thing that you should look at when you are comparing the plans. Rates do change from time to time and can go up a good bit. Whenever your rate changes, that is a good time to re-evaluate and make sure you have the most desirable plan for you. If you are paying $150 for a Plan F, for example, and there is another Plan F for $120, you can easily change and save $360/year for the same coverage.
If you have any questions about how this works or anything else regarding Medicare, please call us at 877.506.3378 or request information at Medigap-Quote.com.