4 Tips for Medicare Enrollment

Published September 8, 2017


When is the time to change your Medicare coverage?

Oct. 15 – Dec. 7th, 2017.

There are many coverage options and the process can be overwhelming. Here are four tips to know before the Annual Election Period.

1.   Annual Election Period (AEP) occurs from October 15 to December 7 of every year.

Current Medicare enrollees can make changes to existing elections, including:
  • Newly Enrolling in a stand-alone Prescription Drug plan (PDP), Medicare Advantage plan, or Medicare Supplement Plan.
  • Changing from an existing PDP or Medicare Advantage provider to another.
  • Dis-enrolling from a Medicare Advantage or PDP to stop or change the type of coverage.
2.   Review Medicare health and drug coverage.
  • Original Medicare: review via next year’s Medicare & You handbook or Medicare.gov to ensure you’re aware of any changes.
  • Medicare Advantage Plan/Stand-Alone Part D: Review the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and/or Evidence of Coverage (EOC) of your plan
  • Take this opportunity to review any other options you aren’t taking advantage of.
  • After reviewing your plan and any changes for the upcoming year, change them during open enrollment. They will come into effect January 1.
3.    Annual Election Period vs. Initial Election Period.
  • People NEW to Medicare qualify to enroll during a 7-month window around their 65th birthday, called their Initial Election Period (IEP). This begins three months before the month of their 65th birthday, and continues for the three months that follow it. Even if there is crossover between AEP and IEP (e.g 65th birthday in November), someone “Aging-in” or turning 65 would use IEP for enrollment. A November birthday shouldn’t wait until AEP to make a decision; they could (and likely should) begin in August to avoid missing enrollment deadlines.
  • We help with both!
  • If you missed your IEP, or in other words missed the initial window to enroll in Medicare, that’s when there is a separate General Enrollment Period (GEP) that occurs during the first quarter of each year.
4. There is Help.
  • Navigating Medicare can be complicated. Maps can help with personal reviews from our Investment Services team.
  • Our team is trained to make the review and enrollment process easier on you.
  • Attend one of our complimentary workshops or schedule a personal appointment.

*Insurance products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, Inc. (“CFS”). Products offered through CFS: are not NCUA/NCUSIF or otherwise federally insured, are not guarantees of obligations of the credit union, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Investment Representatives are licensed through CFS. The credit union has contracted CFS to make certain insurance products and services available to credit union members.