Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) wrapped up for another year on December 7th. The first thing you may have noticed is the mailings and TV commercials have stopped. Here’s what else you should expect now AEP is over.
If You Didn’t Make Changes During AEP
If you didn’t make any changes during AEP, your existing coverage will renew for 2024. Your insurance carrier will have notified you of any changes to your current plan in September, when the carrier mailed your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letter. The ANOC gives a summary of any benefit or cost changes that will be effective from January 1, 2024. If you don’t recall receiving this notification, you can contact your insurance carrier’s customer service department and ask for another copy. You will find this phone number on the back of your ID card.
If You Made Changes During AEP
If you changed plans during AEP, you should receive an acknowledgement letter when the carrier receives your application. Once the insurance carrier has processed and approved your application, you will receive a confirmation letter or welcome packet along with your new ID card, which will have an effective date of January 1, 2024. You will need to show your new card at doctors’ appointments and when picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy. You will automatically be disenrolled from your previous coverage.
If you haven’t received your new ID card, reach out ASAP to confirm your enrollment. If you worked with a Medicare agent during AEP, call this agent directly and ask for assistance. Your agent can verify your enrollment with the insurance carrier and check the status of your ID card. If you believe you have been enrolled in the wrong plan, your Medicare agent can work with the carrier to correct the issue. If you did not work with a Medicare agent, call your insurance carrier’s customer service department for assistance with these issues.
What if You Received Incorrect Information During AEP?
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provide a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for individuals who signed up for a plan during AEP based on false, incorrect, or misleading information. CMS grants this SEP on a case-by-case basis. If you believe you may qualify based on your situation, gather information about your enrollment and call a Medicare representative at 1-800-633-4227. If CMS approves you for this SEP, you will be allowed to change plans.
What Are Your Options if You Are Unhappy with Your Coverage After AEP?
Perhaps your coverage is not what you thought it would be or perhaps your circumstances suddenly changed and your plan is no longer the best fit. Are you locked in for the rest of 2024? That depends on the type of coverage you have and what changes you want to make. Medicare has other enrollment periods during the year when you can make a change. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan during the Open Enrollment Period from January 1st to March 31st.
Healthcare Educators Can Help
The experienced team of Medicare agents at Healthcare Educators is your best resource for understanding Medicare’s different enrollment periods, including whether you qualify. We can help you find a new plan that better fits your needs. Contact us today.