What is the Medicare AEP | Plymouth Insurance Agent 

Today, EnviZion Insurance, your Plymouth insurance agent is going to talk about the annual enrollment period for Medicare. The annual enrollment period for Medicare is for everybody that is on Medicare currently and this comes up every single year, the same way that a standard employer plan has their one time per year open enrollment. And what it allows you to do is switch to a new plan and find possibly a plan that meets your needs a little more closely or also to just review your plan and see any changes that are going to be made for the following year to come. The annual enrollment period is for every single person on Medicare regardless of when your start date for Medicare was. All you need to know is that during the annual enrollment period, you’ll have a chance to review your plan, the plan that you’re currently on. We’ll send you any changes being made to your plan and also you’ll be able to look through the marketplace for other plans in your service area that you could switch to. And there are many opportunities to do this and that window for Medicare open enrollment is every single year between October 15th and December 7th .

As your Plymouth insurance agent many people ask me the same questions over and over again when it comes to the Medicare annual enrollment period and what they generally ask is, you know, what date is the annual enrollment period? What can I do? Who does it affect, how should I plan for it, what should I watch for? And so today I’m going to cover all of those pieces and give you a good idea of what you should be doing, what to watch for, and also how to navigate everything that you’ll probably receive from many different companies during the annual enrollment period that are trying to send you information for their new plans.

To reiterate a little bit of what I said earlier, the dates for the Indian and annual enrollment period will be October 15th through December 7th again, who does this affect? Anyone who is currently on Medicare, this will give them an opportunity during the year to look at new plans and find possibly a new plan. And also review their current plan and see any changes that will be made to the plan. So as someone on Medicare, what should you do? This is a great question because it really comes down to what you specifically need for your medical care, how the past year has gone for you on the plan that you’re currently on. And then finally also any changes that will occur to your plan. When I meet with my Medicare clients as a Plymouth insurance agent, I find that there’s a few questions that I ask that will help you navigate the, what should I do portion of the annual enrollment period. First of all, I always ask, how is your plan currently meeting your needs?

If you’ve had some payments that were unexpected or you’ve had some higher payments than you thought you should have, or you’re just possibly not using the plan as much as you thought you would. Those are all great reasons to look at different plans and the different options that you have in the market because that plan that you have may not necessarily be meeting your needs that another plan could and it’s important to make sure that you’re asking the type of questions that will put you in a position to change plans and get you in a spot for the next year that’s going to work really well for you and meet the needs you have for your health care. With this in mind, the next question I always ask is have you had any unexpected payments or payments that you thought would be different than what the plan originally showed you at the beginning of the year?

The reason being is you want to make sure that you are going to know exactly what payments you’ll need to make and also understand what your portion of the medical treatments you’re getting you will have to pay. So not only is it good to look at your plan during the annual enrollment period just to refresh yourself and necessarily not actually change a plan, but again, just get your plan benefits back into your mind and to get a good understanding of exactly what your plan offers and then again, look at the changes that will be coming for the next year to see if that will actually determine if you will stay on the current plan you’re in or switch to a different plan that’s being offered in your area. Many times as the Plymouth insurance agent, I see people automatically thinking that they need to switch their plan. However, for many people, this actually may not be the case. What I first and foremost like to do is ask these couple of questions that I had just talked about to get your mind into a position of thinking about your plan and really questioning how it has treated you for the last year and how it has met your needs and any places where it may have not met your needs. And what this will allow you to do is then determine from that point after kind of refreshing and resetting your mind on the last year and how your med care plan has fit your needs as far as your medical and prescription goes. With that, then determine if you are going to want to switch into a new plan, because for many people staying on the current plan may be a great option. Or for some other people, they may look at it and say, Oh yeah, you know, this doctor wasn’t in network and I need to go see him, or I’d like to go see him, or this prescription price was a little bit high for my liking.

Can we look to see if there’s a plan that has a little bit different pricing on this? Or you know what, I’m not going to be visiting the doctor as often anymore this year. So let’s switch to a plan that may be a little bit less expensive for me overall. Also the opposite could be for you and you may be having a surgery or maybe you’re having some sort of  health issues that are going to be requiring you to visit the doctor more often. So you may look at plans that have a different amount of copays or many different options like that. So that is why I asked the questions that I asked previously to kind of refocus my clients as their Plymouth insurance agent to ask the right questions that get, gets their mindset in the right place to determine whether or not switching plans is something that they think will be appropriate for them for the phone year.

One thing I also always like to point out as your [inaudible] insurance agent is that each company will have to send you a copy of a change of benefits to the current plan you have, if any benefits of the plan that you’re currently on do change. So maybe the price of the plan goes up or down, possibly prescription drug costs changes or any other slight coverage that changes compared to the previous year where that plan will be switching over to the new plan in the following year. Those changes will need to be sent to you from your plan. And that is another great thing to look at because although your plan may have been perfect for you or everything you’ve wanted for a plan this year, some of those changes that may occur can switch that they can change. Uh, what benefits actually are going to be offered. And maybe that one benefit that has been great for you is going to now change in price or terms or something like that.

Or possibly a prescription price is going to change or no longer be on the formulary or perhaps a doctor or clinic or hospital is no longer going to be in network. So these are the things to watch out for during the annual enrollment period. And this is the main goal for me as your Plymouth insurance agent to review these things, to ask the questions that will allow you to better identify if you would like to stay on your plan or switch to a new plan. So this is the purpose of the annual enrollment period is to take a genuine look at the plan that you’re on for Medicare to determine if it’s possibly something that you want to stick with or something that you want to change. Depending on that, always taking a look at the other plans available to you in your service area to see if there’s another one that may meet your needs a little more closely. Thank you for taking the time to read this article from your Plymouth insurance agent. Envision insurance. If you have any questions, please give me a call at (612) 354-6496 where I would be able to speak with you directly about any annual enrollment period questions you have. Set up an appointment with you to review your plan and any plans in your service area and gets you down the right track for the October 15th through December 7th annual enrollment period for Medicare.