2012 Part D and Medicare Advantage Enrollment Dates

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2012 Part D and Medicare Advantage Enrollment Dates

The 2012 Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) or Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) is approaching fast. This year’s OEP/AEP gets underway on October 15.

Although the annual OEP/AEP used to extend through the end of the calendar year, this year’s Open Enrollment Period will end on December 7. This means you’ll have a shorter Medicare Enrollment Period than you’re accustomed to from previous years. Even so, you’ll have over seven weeks this year to take advantage of the opportunities an Annual Election Period can provide.

Here are some things to be aware of if you’re thinking about enrolling in a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan:

If you’re currently enrolled in Part D (prescription drug plans) or Medicare Advantage, your current plan will end on December 31 of this year.

Though your plan may be renewed for next year, there’s no guarantee that will happen.

Your current plan’s sponsor has several other options for next year. It can:

    • Change your benefits
    • Change your premiums
    • Not renew your plan
    • Leave your service area – in effect, discontinuing service to you

If your plan has chosen one of these courses for 2013, you should receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) by the end of September. If you receive an ANOC, it’s important to look it over carefully before deciding what action you should take during Open Enrollment.
Your options are to:

    • Continue with your current plan if it’s possible and if all changes are acceptable to you
    • Leave Medicare Advantage and return to Original Medicare
    • Enroll in a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan
    • Drop Part D coverage

Dropping your Part D coverage isn’t recommended in most cases, as drug costs can be through the roof without a good drug plan. Other good advice is to look for Medicare supplement insurance if you plan to drop your Medicare Advantage Plan during this year’s AEP.

Whether you’re currently covered by a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan, you should look at the annual OEP/AEP as an opportunity to evaluate your current healthcare coverage.

Although you’re not required to make any changes during this or any OEP, open enrollment offers you a great opportunity to evaluate your current health coverage in order to determine whether any changes are advisable. An annual evaluation of this sort is always recommended. Simply put, the coverage that was right for you a year ago may not be right for you going into a new year. Some premiums may go up from year to year. Your medical situation and your needs can change dramatically from one year to the next. These considerations and others may reveal that continuing with your current health plan for another year may not be in your best interests.

It may simply be that you want coverage that didn’t seem as important or necessary a year ago. Maybe during the past year you’ve had an experience that’s shown you all too well that Original Medicare alone isn’t enough. Or maybe you’re just not sure whether it’s time to make a change, and you’d like some expert advice before committing to a plan for 2013. If this is the case, give MedicareMall a call toll-free at (877) 413-1556 and we’ll be glad to assist you in making such an important decision about your health and finances.

All Medicare plans for 2013 will be made public on October 1 of this year, and you can visit Official Medicare Page  or call MedicareMall for details.

If you intend to leave your current Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll have a second opportunity to do so during the annual Disenrollment Period for Medicare Advantage, which in 2013 will take place from January 1 to February 14.

During the Disenrollment Period for Medicare Advantage, you can:

    • Return to Original Medicare
    • Apply for a Medicare supplement
    • Enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan

If you decide to drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and apply for a Medicare supplement, you should do so early enough to learn whether your application is accepted prior to February 14th. Unless you’re prepared to be insured only by Original Medicare, you shouldn’t drop your Medicare Advantage Plan until you’re certain you’ll be able to get a Medicare supplement policy to replace it.
Medicare can go a long way toward helping you maintain your good health—if you have the experience and knowledge to take advantage of it.

If you have any questions about anything all the way from your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period to this year’s Open Enrollment, contact MedicareMall now and let us save you money and lead you with confidence through the Medicare maze!

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