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Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Period is from October 15 to December 7

Monday, September 19, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Medicare Fall Open Enrollment, also known as the Annual Election Period, runs from October 15 to December 7 each year. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their existing coverage.

If your residents are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan or a standalone Part D plan, their plan should send them an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) that lists any changes to the plan for 2017. These changes could be that the plan will charge a different monthly premium, cover different services, or change its formulary (the plan’s list of covered drugs).

You should encourage your residents to read this notice carefully to see if any of the changes affect them. For instance, if their ANOC states that their Part D plan will have an annual deductible next year, they may want to choose a new Part D plan that does not have a deductible.

There are a number of changes beneficiaries can make during Fall Open Enrollment. Beneficiaries can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan (also called Part C)
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare
  • Switch from your current Medicare Advantage Plan to a new one
  • Join a Part D prescription drug plan (if you do not have one)
  • Switch from your current Part D prescription drug plan to a new one
  • Do nothing and stay with your current coverage

Any changes made will become effective January 1, 2017. Beneficiaries can make as many changes as they like during Fall Open Enrollment, but only the last change made will be effective in January.

If your residents have questions about their coverage, plan options, or need general assistance, there are a number of resources they can use for help:

  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE. You can call Medicare to learn about plan options in your area, confirm your current coverage, or change your coverage.
  • Visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan. You can use this online tool to search for and compare plans.
  • Call a Medicare Advantage Plan or a stand-alone Part D plan. By calling your plan you can learn about coverage and costs for the upcoming year, request a copy of the plan’s formulary, or enroll in the plan.

Fall Open Enrollment is a time to consider all health care options and needs. Even if your residents decide not change how they receive their Medicare benefits, it is a good idea to review their coverage and any changes that their plan may put in place for 2017.