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Study Finds More Seniors Should Take Advantage of AEP to Explore Their Medicare Options

Each year Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to change Medicare plans during Medicare Annual Open Enrollment (AEP). The enrollment period is fairly generous – between October 15 and December 7 – to allow time for kupuna to review changes coming to their current plans and all their plan options. Going over any current plan changes and evaluating your new options during Medicare open enrollment is very important because health plans change from year to year. It is also the best way to make sure that you are on the right plan for your current needs; your health status, prescription medications, and budget may all be different this year than they were last year.

While AEP is a busy time for Medicare agents, a new study by Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that a surprising seven out of 10 seniors did not review their options during the last AEP. That means that 70% of seniors risked losing out on a plan that could better suit their needs. If you have missed out on the chance to review your Medicare options during AEP in the past, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable Medicare agents as soon as possible. We are here to help and our services are always free of charge.

Study Finds More Seniors Should Take Advantage of Annual Open Enrollment to Explore their Medicare Options

If you were not part of the 30% of Medicare enrollees who reviewed their Medicare plan during Annual Open Enrollment period last year, you may have spent more than you needed to on your Medicare plan or at the very least experienced an unpleasant surprise when plan changes kicked in last January.

Changes to Medicare Advantage Plans to look out for include:

  • Monthly premiums

  • Co-pays

  • Deductibles

  • Coinsurance

  • Maximum annual out-of-pocket limit

  • Drug formulary (prescription drugs covered under your prescription drug plan)

  • Doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers that are considered “in-network”

Changes to Medicare Plans Available During AEP

The Medicare AEP is designed to allow seniors enrolled in Medicare to add or change their health insurance from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another, from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, or from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare. Kupuna who are considering switching from Original Medicare to an Advantage plan should know that most Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage. Seniors enrolled in Original Medicare should also take this time to review their Medicare Part D options (prescription drug coverage) as annual changes are common among these plans as well.

Any changes that you make this fall will take effect on January 1, 2022. If you do nothing your current plan will automatically roll over in 2022 but with any changes identified in your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letter.

Note: If you switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan during AEP but find that it isn’t the right fit for you, you can change your coverage between January 1, 2022 and March 31, 2022. Seniors cannot, however, switch from one standalone Part D plan to another during that window.

Our independent insurance agents are dedicated to assisting people on Medicare and those who are ready to transition from employer coverage to personal retirement coverage. We help kupuna understand their benefits options and apply for additional coverage, as needed. Because we represent all the major Medicare Advantage and supplement plans in Hawaii, we are able to offer unbiased advice; all at no cost to our clients.

At PBC, our clients are our number one priority and we look forward to getting to know you and your needs. Call us today at (808) 738-4500 to see how we may be of assistance.


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