Your Guide to Navigate Medicare Open Enrollment This Year

Are you getting bombarded with TV commercials and a mountain of health insurance advertisements in the mail?

You’re not the only one. It’s that time of year again: Medicare open enrollment.

During this roughly two-month period, Medicare beneficiaries can compare and adjust their coverage. Private insurance companies aggressively advertise their plans in hopes that you’ll sign up for them.

But should you switch plans during the Medicare open enrollment period? How does the process work and what are your options?

In this guide, we break everything you need to know. Let’s get started.

What Is Medicare Open Enrollment?

Medicare open enrollment, also known as the annual election period, runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 each year.

It’s the time when people who are already enrolled in Medicare can make changes to their plans.

If you’re happy with your Medicare coverage, you don’t need to do anything. You don’t need to “renew” your coverage.

During open enrollment, you can:

  • Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or vice versa.
  • Switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Sign up for Part D if you didn’t enroll when you first became eligible.
  • Change to a different Part D plan.

Whatever changes you make will go into effect Jan. 1. So if you make changes during the 2022 open enrollment period, your new benefits will kick in January 2023.

Information about next year’s plans will be available starting in October.

Need a refresher on Medicare? Check out these 7 frequently asked questions on how Medicare works.

How Do You Sign Up for a New Plan During Open Enrollment?

There are two ways you can enroll in a new plan during Medicare open enrollment.

  • Use the online Medicare plan finder tool.
  • Call Medicare’s helpline at 800-633-4227 (TTY: 877-486-2048) and ask the representative to conduct the same search for you.

Once you join a new plan, you’ll automatically be removed from your old plan when your new…

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