Close  

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period 2023


The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, also known as the Annual Election Period, allows you to change your existing Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for the following year. Each fall during the Annual Enrollment Period, anyone with Medicare coverage can benefit from this enrollment period.

Find Medicare Plans in 3 Easy Steps

We can help find the right Medicare plans for you today

Below, we review the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, when it happens, how it works, and how to best utilize the enrollment period.

What is the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare?

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) Guide

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Basics

Medicare is made of four parts: Medicare Part A, Part B, Part C, and Part D. Additionally, Medicare Supplement plans are available to help cover costs left over by Original Medicare. 

During the Annual Enrollment Period, you are able to make changes to your Medicare Part C and Part D plans for the upcoming year. Subsequently, could affect your Medicare Supplement plan as well if you choose to enroll in this plan type. 

The Annual Enrollment Period happens each fall and allows you to ensure you are enrolled in the best coverage year after year. 

Medicare 101

When is the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare?

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, also known as the Fall Enrollment Period or the Open Enrollment Period, occurs each year from October 15 to December 7. You can change your Medicare elections for the upcoming year during this enrollment period.

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is an opportunity to improve your Medicare elections to fit your lifestyle, healthcare needs, and budget. If you are unhappy with the changes you have made in the past or with your current plan, the Annual Enrollment Period is the time to fix those issues for the following year.

Find Medicare Plans in 3 Easy Steps

We can help find the right Medicare plans for you today

Other Names for Annual Enrollment Period

Comparing Prescription Drug Plans During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

There are over 21 million Americans enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan. Thus, it is essential to review and compare Medicare Part D prescription drug plans each year during the Medicare Annual Enrollment period due to annual changes in the plans.

Like Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare Part D benefits also do not stay consistent year after year, and it is crucial to review your plan changes. This way, you can compare other policy options.

Common reasons you may want to switch drug plans are:

  • Changes in premium
  • Changes in the drug formulary
  • Change in preferred pharmacy

Any above changes could significantly affect how you use your Medicare Part D plan. This means that a better plan may be available. However, you may not know these changes unless you review and compare your plan.

Each year, the company that manages your Medicare Part D plan must send you an Annual Notice of Change document in September. This document will explain any changes to your current policy that will take effect the following year. Reading and understanding these changes is a must, as they directly affect your coverage.

2022 Medicare Enrollment Numbers

Comparing Medicare Advantage Plans During the Annual Enrollment Period

Like Medicare Part D, your Medicare Advantage plan will see changes in networks, coverage, and out-of-pocket costs each year. Between October 15 and December 7 each year, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for the new year. Your plan will experience changes yearly, so it is wise to keep up to date.

Find Medicare Plans in 3 Easy Steps

We can help find the right Medicare plans for you today

The best way to understand your plan changes is by reviewing the Annual Notice of Change. However, another plan may have made changes that exceed the benefits of your current policy, so you and your agent should review all available plans to ensure you get the best coverage.

Annual Enrollment Period Timeline

Can I Enroll in Original Medicare During the Annual Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is not the time for you to enroll in Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B (Original Medicare). To be eligible for the Annual Enrollment Period, you must already be enrolled in Original Medicare. If you are new to Medicare and need to enroll in Part A or Part B you must do so during your Initial Enrollment Period or the General Enrollment Period. 

Annual Enrollment Period is for What Parts

What Changes Can I Make During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, you can:

  • Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan
  • Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • Enroll in a Medicare Part D plan
  • Change from one Medicare Part D plan to another
  • Disenroll from a Medicare Part D plan

If you plan to switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare and wish to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan, you can do so during this time. You can also pick up a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to replace your coverage through your MAPD once you switch to Original Medicare.

Remember you must pass underwriting health questions to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan. So, it is crucial to work with an agent to enroll in the right policy based on your healthcare needs to avoid a lapse in coverage.

What Can I Do During Annual Enrollment Period

Find Medicare Plans in 3 Easy Steps

We can help find the right Medicare plans for you today

Can I Switch to Medicare Supplement During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plan at any time. However, you cannot have Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement coverage at the same time.

Therefore, you must have a valid disenrollment period for your Medicare Advantage plan before picking up Medigap coverage. Fortunately, the Annual Enrollment Period is a valid disenrollment period for Medicare Advantage.

When you switch to a Medicare Supplement plan, you must undergo medical underwriting. A carrier can deny issuing you a Medicare Supplement policy based on your pre-existing conditions. If you believe you may not qualify for a Medicare Supplement plan, it is essential to have a Medicare Advantage plan in mind to avoid a lapse in coverage.

Often, licensed agents can help you find a plan with a carrier that will accept your pre-existing condition. However, that is not always the case with more severe health conditions.

Med Supp During Annual Enrollment Period

When do Changes Made During the Annual Enrollment Period Go Into Effect?

If you make changes to your Medicare coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period, these changes will go into effect on January 1 of the following year. 

During the Annual Enrollment Period, you are able to make as many changes as you wish. However, the most recent change will be honored. For example, if you switch from a Humana Medicare Advantage plan to an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan, then later in the enrollment period decide to change to a Cigna Medicare Advantage plan, the Cigna plan will be effective on January 1. 

When Do My Changes Go into Effect

Find Medicare Plans in 3 Easy Steps

We can help find the right Medicare plans for you today

Should You Change Coverage During the Annual Enrollment Period?

You should consider changing your coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period because plans change annually and a new option may fit your needs better than your current plan. The only way to know is by reviewing your options each year.  

Some changes that occur to Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans include: 

  • Premium increases
  • Provider network changes
  • Formulary changes
  • Changes in benefits 
  • Changes in preferred pharmacies 

To avoid any unexpected surprises, you should do your due diligence to review your plan and others in your area during the Annual Enrollment Period. 

Why Change My Coverage

Your Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Checklist

It is crucial to have a plan when approaching the Annual Enrollment Period. It is never too early to prepare. If you wait too long, contacting an agent may be difficult, and you may lose your chance to change plans.

To have a successful Annual Enrollment Period, you should:

1. Make sure you are eligible to make coverage changes

If you are newly eligible for Medicare or delayed coverage for any reason and do not yet have Medicare Part A and Part B, this is NOT the enrollment period for you. You will not be eligible to make changes during this enrollment period unless you are within your Initial Enrollment period or are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. In this case, you will need to wait until the General Enrollment Period.

Find Medicare Plans in 3 Easy Steps

We can help find the right Medicare plans for you today

2. Decide if your current coverage is still best for you

When deciding on your coverage during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, you must take a deeper look at your current coverage and determine if there are any changes you would like to make. If you can find a plan with these changes, it may be best to enroll in this new plan. However, no changes are necessary if your current plan is still the best for you.

3. Contact a licensed Medicare agent before December 7 to enroll

The most critical step of the process is connecting with a licensed Medicare insurance agent specializing in the plans you want to enroll in. Often, an agent may be able to help you find plans that you were not aware of, help you save money, or recommend plans with more benefits. Working with an agent is crucial to ensuring you are on the best plan for your needs.

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period Checklist

FAQs

What is the difference between the Medicare Open Enrollment Period and the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?
Many people refer to the Medicare Annual Enrollment period as the Open Enrollment Period. So, essentially, the two are the same enrollment period.
Is there an Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement plans?
No, there is not an Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare Supplement plans. You can enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan any time as long as you can pass medical underwriting and have a valid window to disenroll from your Medicare Advantage plan, should you have one.
What happens if I do not like the Medicare Advantage plan I sign up for during the Annual Enrollment Period?
Suppose you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Enrollment Period. In that case, you will have the chance to change your plan from January 1 to March 31 during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. You can either switch back to Original Medicare or enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan. If you switched from a Medicare Supplement plan to a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time, you would have a trial right for 12 months that allows you to switch back to your Medicare Supplement plan.
Do Medigap Plan Benefits change annually?
No, Medigap plan benefits remain the same each year. The only annual changes Medigap plans undergo are changes in premium.

 

 

How to Sign Up for Medicare During the Annual Enrollment Period for 2022

Our agents are here to help you understand the dos and don'ts during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. Our services are 100% free to you. Don't end up enrolling in a plan you didn't want, and end up stuck with it under the next AEP. Give us a call today, or complete our online rate form to have one of our agents lookup rates on all Medicare plans available in your area now.

Enter ZIP Code

Enter ZIP Code

Enter your ZIP code to pull plan options available in your area.

Compare Plans

Compare Plans

Select which Medicare plans you would like to compare in your area.

Get Quote

Get Quote

Compare rates side by side with plans & carriers available in your area.

Sources:

MedicareFAQ is dedicated to providing you with authentic and trustworthy Medicare information. We have strict sourcing guidelines and work diligently to serve our readers with accurate and up-to-date content.

  1. Medicare Open Enrollment, CMS. Accessed July 2022.
    https://www.cms.gov/Outreach-and-Education/Reach-Out/Find-tools-to-help-you-help-others/Medicare-Open-Enrollment#:~:text=When's%20the%20Medicare%20Open%20Enrollment,is%20October%2015%20%2D%20December%207.
  2. Medicare Open Enrollment, Medicare. Accessed July 2022.
    https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11220-Medicare-Yearly-Review.pdf

Jagger Esch

Jagger Esch is the Medicare expert for MedicareFAQ and the founder, president, and CEO of Elite Insurance Partners and MedicareFAQ.com. Since the inception of his first company in 2012, he has been dedicated to helping those eligible for Medicare by providing them with resources to educate themselves on all their Medicare options. He is featured in many publications as well as writes regularly for other expert columns regarding Medicare.

8 thoughts on “Medicare Annual Enrollment Period 2023

  1. I am 68 & still working full time & have medicare part A, I pay no premium at this time.
    It would be helpful if you had a check list we fill out for basic questions, About what we have now & need to have to be covered for the next year. I called medicare & they said i do not need anything else, Because I am working full time & have not retired yet.

    Comment

    Your email address will not be published.