A Complete Guide to Medicare’s Annual Election Period in 2022

The Annual Election Period is the period to make changes to your Medicare plan if you’re enrolled in Medicare.

Between October 15 and December 7, Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) begins. Individuals can alter their Medicare plan just once a year throughout this period. You can take this chance to reassess your options and look for a new plan if your premiums have increased, your health has changed, or you’re interested whether you could save money or get more from your Medicare plan.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the procedure, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s a rundown of the data you should think about when you decide what sort of Medicare coverage you want in 2022.

Determine Your Medicare Requirements

Because things change during the year, it’s a good idea to think about how you used your benefits in the previous 12 months to forecast future requirements and estimate your yearly expenditures for 2022. Expenses such as monthly premiums, deductibles, copays, and prescription medication expenditures should all be included. Your current Medicare plan might not be the best match for your situation if your medicines have changed or if you’ve been diagnosed with a new medical condition.

Recognize Your Medicare Coverage Alternatives

The most basic kind of Medicare coverage is Original Medicare, which is provided by the federal government and consists of Part A (hospital treatment) and Part B (medical coverage) (medical coverage). Original Medicare only covers around 80% of your medical costs and excludes coverage for prescription drugs.

Many consumers opt to enroll in additional coverage with a Medicare Advantage or a Medigap plan to assist pay the remaining 20% of costs not covered by Original Medicare. Both are offered by private insurance providers and come with a monthly fee in addition to your Part B fee. Some Medicare Advantage plans, have monthly rates as low as $0.

You can enroll in or switch to a new Medicare Advantage or prescription medication plan during the Medicare Annual Election Period. Here’s what you should know about your alternatives:

  • Medicare Advantage plans include everything that Original Medicare does, most of the time it even comes with Part D Prescription Coverage, as well as extras like dental, hearing, vision, and gym memberships, which are usually included in most plans, as are services to help you manage your health. Medicare Advantage plans typically include cheaper premiums and a network of doctors, but some also provide coverage outside of the network and out of state.
  • Medigap plans, commonly known as Medicare Supplement Insurance, function alongside Original Medicare to cover deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments that Original Medicare does not cover. You may see any doctor who accepts Medicare if you have a Medigap coverage. These plans, however, do not cover prescription drugs, so you’ll need to purchase a separate Part D plan.

This Annual Election Period, decide which Medicare Plan is best for you.

Monthly premiums

With a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll generally pay lower monthly rates. Some plans, begin at $0 per month. You won’t have to pay a separate monthly premium for a Part D plan because most Medicare Advantage plans include prescription medication coverage (called MAPD plans).

Monthly rates for Medigap policies are often higher. Separately, you’ll need to obtain Part D prescription coverage. However, in exchange for increased monthly premiums, your out-of-pocket expenditures, like as copays, are decreased.

Added value

You’ll frequently have access to extras not available with a Medigap plan, such as a gym membership, dental, vision, and hearing coverage, prescription reviews, and more with a Medicare Advantage plan.

Out-of-pocket limit

Members of Medicare Advantage plans can only spend a certain amount out of cash for medical expenditures. Varying plans have different maximums, but after you’ve spent that amount, your plan will cover 100% of the services listed as benefits. Medigap plans, on the other hand, have no limit on how much you’ll have to spend out of cash each year.

Increased flexibility

Medicare Advantage plans are based on a provider network, which is generally limited to a certain region or state. However, no matter where you are in the United States, all Medicare Advantage plans provide coverage for emergency and urgent care, as well as a hospital stay if you need to be hospitalized. When it comes to other services, going to an in-network provider will usually save you money, though many plans also provide out-of-network or out-of-state coverage alternatives.

With a Medigap plan, you have the freedom to see any Medicare-accepting provider in the United States.

During the 2022 Annual Election Period, Take Advantage of Resources

You may find a lot of info and resources to assist you in assessing your Medicare options and selecting the right plan for your requirements.

A great first step is Medinsco.com. Medinsco is an Easy to Use Medicare Self Enrollment Platform, with just a few simple steps you can review the plans best for you.

Answer a few questions about your health and medication and then an estimate of your costs for each available plan and best options will appear

Your answers DO NOT affect Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan premiums, your answers will only help find a plan better suited to your needs

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