Medicare Annual Enrollment Period AEP 2021 will be here before you realize it. Between 15th October and 7th December, you have the opportunity to adjust your Medicare Advantage and drug plans. The entire process aims to ensure you have the right plan to match your healthcare requirements in the upcoming year.
Why Review Your Medicare Coverage?
Whether you receive your benefits through Medicare Advantage (MA), Original Medicare, or Medicare Part D, it’s of your best interest that you review your alternatives during AEP. Here are the critical reasons for reviewing your Medicare choices during the period:
It Helps You Ascertain Whether Your Current Coverage Addresses All Your Healthcare Needs
If you’ve experienced a change in your health status and aren’t sure whether your current plan can meet your healthcare needs adequately, you can use this period to compare the options and the coverages they offer. These may include vision, prescription drug, dental, and hearing coverage.
Better Management of Your Out-of-Pocket Expenses
An agent can help you explore the alternatives for saving money. You will find the right plan, which offers additional flexibility in covering costs such as copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
To Determine Whether the Plan Covers Your Current Medications
Every year, the drugs that are highlighted in your plan’s formulary change. What’s more, the price for the respective medicines you take may vary from plan to plan since the plans negotiate discounts with pharmacies differently. The AEP period is appropriate for medication comparisons, and you are sure to get the right solutions for your needs.
To Ensure the Freedom to Visit Your Preferred Physician
You can use the AEP period to ascertain the right plan that allows you to work with your favorite specialists, doctors, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities.
Eligibility Factors for Medicare AEP
You are qualified for both Part A and Part B once you attain the age of 65. The critical eligibility factors include:
- You must be a citizen of the United States or a legal permanent resident who has been in the country for five consecutive years.
- If you’re married, one of the partners must have worked long enough to earn Railroad Retirement and Social Security benefits.
- One of the spouses must be a government employee or retiree who has paid Medicare payroll taxes but not Social Security.
On the other hand, those below the age of 65 still qualify for this plan if they meet the following requirements:
- You’ve been getting benefits like Social Security and certain Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for not less than 24 months.
- You have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
- You have End-Stage Renal Disease, and one marriage partner has paid Social Security taxes for a particular duration.
Medicare Enrollment Methods
You can enroll in Medicare in two ways; manually or automatically.
Automatic enrollment is for those who meet the above criteria. If you are 65 years old and are already earning your Railroad retirement and Social Security benefits, you automatically qualify. The same applies to those under 65 years but have received the same benefits for at least 24 calendar months.
If you meet these requirements, you’ll get your blue, white, and red Medicare benefits through the mail. Your coverage begins on the first day of your 65th birth-month, or the first day of the 25 the month of getting disability benefits.
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