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Everything You Need To Know: The Importance of Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period 2023

2023 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

Are you ready for AEP 2023?

Some can agree that 2022 has been a rough year for many, and could certainly use some good news.

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period 2023 is right around the corner, and can be a crucial time for Medicare Beneficiaries. 

AEP 2023 is important for various reasons:

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Disclaimer: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800– MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

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What is Annual Enrollment Period?

Annual Enrollment Period 2023 or AEP, for short, occurs every year for Medicare beneficiaries, from  October 15th through December 7th.  It is open to ALL Medicare Beneficiaries. That means, if you have Medicare, then this annual enrollment period is eligible for you.

For all the official information regarding Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, you can visit the official government website at medicare.gov.

You will be able to do a number of things if you have Medicare.  Let’s break down the important reasons listed above. 

Why is AEP important?

The Breakdown:

This article isn’t intended for you to change plans every year, but to give you knowledge of what you can do for this AEP, and how you can maximize your benefits each year by simply staying pro-active in your Medicare Journey.

Who is eligible to SAVE MONEY this annual enrollment period?

We all know the phrase “A penny saved is a penny earned.”

 #1:  During AEP anyone who has Medicare, can potentially SAVE MONEY on your Medicare Related Healthcare Costs for the upcoming year of 2023.  

There could be potential savings if you review your Medicare Supplement. You can shop different companies and plans but would have to go through medical underwriting if you don’t have a qualifying event or are in your initial election period.  

If reviewing a Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan, then you do not have health questions to answer when switching plans.

But how can you save money?

  1. If you have a Medicare Supplement, you can try to lower your monthly premium by shopping around with different insurance companies for the same Medicare Supplement Plan you currently have or go to a different plan letter. For example, Plan G to Plan N.  Just make sure the differences between the plans are explained and health questions may be asked for approval of the insurance company.
  2. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can: see if your current plan has additional added benefits, are there new plans offered in your county with more competitive benefits, could you save more money on your medications and overall cost with another plan offered in your area.

Why are medication costs spiraling out of control?

#2:  This annual enrollment period 2023, is a good opportunity to review several items if your medication costs have spiraled out of control.  

Unfortunately, we hear daily how much harder it’s getting to pay for medications, plus the daily cost of living on a fixed income.  Having to choose to cut down on food to pay for medications is unacceptable, and no one should have to go through that.

So, here is how you can potentially combat some of those costs:

  • If you have a stand alone prescription drug plan (Part D),  then it is adviseable to check that your current medications are in your plan’s formulary. A formulary dictates which medications the plan will cover. If not all your medications are covered, then you can go on the Official Medicare’s Website, by clicking here, and entering  your medications by being a guest or creating an account to save your information.  You will then be able to compare ALL the plans that are available in your county and state.  This is a very powerful tool to maximize an estimate of your overall cost for your current medications. 
  • If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan with Prescription Drugs included, then you can do the same steps as above, but click Medicare Advantage option for comparison.  With Medicare Advantage Plans, you can also go more in depth and compare additional benefits offered by your current plan and plans of interest.
  • Networks can also play a role in lowering prescription drug costs. Plans can have Preferred Pharmacy Network or Standard Pharmacy Network.  Another option that often saves quite a bit of money is the possibility of mail order, where you get your medications delivered to your home through a preferred mail pharmacy vendor. 

 

Exploring new options in your county and state if available can be a good thing.  Sometimes these plans can offer benefits you were not receiving before and lower your overall costs for the year.  

Is open enrollment the same for all companies?

Disclaimer: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800– MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Medicare Uncensored & Partner Brokers websites are owned and operated by Medlock and Associates.  Medicare.medlockandassociates.com contains links to marketing content that may constitute a solicitation of insurance. Medicare Uncensored consists of licensed insurance brokers that may receive compensation if you make a purchase for insurance from any of the companies they are contracted with.

Medicare Uncensored & Partner Brokers are not sponsored or affiliated by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. 

*By clicking and submitting consent on any of the ads, you are agreeing that Medicare Uncensored & any of its licensed Partner Brokers can contact you by your preferred method of contact with zero obligation to purchase insurance.

Amazing & Easy to Use FREE AEP 2022 Checklist Click Below

Disclaimer: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800– MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

Medicare Uncensored & Partner Brokers websites are owned and operated by Medlock and Associates.  Medicare.medlockandassociates.com contains links to marketing content that may constitute a solicitation of insurance. Medicare Uncensored consists of licensed insurance brokers that may receive compensation if you make a purchase for insurance from any of the companies they are contracted with.

Medicare Uncensored & Partner Brokers are not sponsored or affiliated by the U.S. government or the federal Medicare program. 

*By clicking and submitting consent on any of the ads, you are agreeing that Medicare Uncensored & any of its licensed Partner Brokers can contact you by your preferred method of contact with zero obligation to purchase insurance.

#3:  Be thorough when exploring your options.

The timeframe for Medicare AEP is the same for all companies.  However, plan availability will vary per county and state.

This year starting October 1st, and moving forward, you will see this Disclaimer: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1–800– MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.

According to an article published by CMS Newsroom1, “CMS is issuing a final rule that advances CMS’ strategic vision of expanding access to affordable health care and improving health equity in Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D through lower out-of-pocket prescription drug costs and improved consumer protections.”

That same article stated, “This final rule revises the MA and Part D regulations related to marketing and communications; the criteria used to review applications for new or expanded MA and Part D plans, including compliance with MA provider network adequacy requirements; quality ratings for MA and Part D plans; medical loss ratio reporting; special requirements during disasters or public emergencies; how MA organizations calculate attainment of the maximum out-of-pocket (MOOP) limit for Parts A and B services; and the use of pharmacy price concessions to reduce beneficiary out of pocket costs for prescription drugs under Part D.

This final rule also revises regulations for D-SNPs, and in some cases, other special needs plans, related to enrollee advisory committees, health risk assessments, and ways to improve integration of Medicare and Medicaid. Many finalized policies are based on lessons learned from the Medicare-Medicaid Financial Alignment Initiative.”

2To view the final rule, please visit:https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2022-09375/medicare-program-contract-year-2023-policy-and-technical-changes-to-the-medicare-advantage-and

Dot your I’s and cross your T’s.  If you are on a Medicare Advantage Plan, you will want to factor in a few variables.

  • Are you looking for a PPO, HMO, D-SNP, or PFFS plan.  Remember they are not all the same. 
  • Compare maximum-out-of-pockets, healthcare deductible, drug deductible, co-payments, and additional benefits.
  • Check the network of doctors.  Make sure that your Primary Care Physician and Specialists are under the plan’s physician network to avoid claim issues.
  • Check availability of products per county and state.

How to maximize Medicare Benefits?

To make the most of this annual enrollment period 2023, be as thorough as you can for your personal needs.

#4:  Research is everything. 

  • There are programs available to help with prescriptions drug costs, such as: Extra Help with Prescriptions from Social Security.  For more information and to see if you may qualify, click here
  • Another program that can help with other Medicare related costs such as cost share and deductibles is called the Medicare Savings Program that does have different levels of help based on income.  This program is ran through your State’s Human Services Department
  • If it becomes too convoluted, you can always ask a professional who is licensed in your state for help in guiding you this annual enrollment period 2023.
  • Take advantage of the AEP 2023 Checklist, so you can be organized and have a successful season, by clicking here.
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How to Avoid Scams?

#5:  Safe Practices this annual enrollment period 2023.

Although it is always an amazing feeling to get the best and save money at the same time, you still have to be careful and perform safe practices this AEP.

Few ways to protect yourself and your family this annual enrollment period 2023:

  • Speak only to licensed professionals that  you feel comfortable with, and that are licensed in your state.
  • Do not be pressured into making changes. Take your time and do your research.
  • Do not give any information like your Medicare ID Number, Policy Numbers, or Social Security Number unless you are certain  you are speaking with a licensed professional who has your best interest in mind.  Most applications are encrypted and or recorded.  They are extremely safe, but getting someone experience, licensed, and who knows what they are doing, is another story!
  • Take notes and ask questions.  The more thorough you are, the more piece of mind you will have. 
  • Report Medicare Fraud and Abuse, such as false claims, or abuse of services.  You can report them here.
  • Report Medicare scams or insurance scams to your State Insurance Commissioner

Why is it called annual enrollment period 2023?

Most people will call this timeframe annual enrollment period 2023 because plans become effective January 1, 2023.  To make it easy, just remember that you are shopping for plans for the following year, and you will be able to identify it each year when doing your reasearch.

The Takeaway This Annual Enrollment Period 2023

To recall, there’s a lot of homework to be done this AEP 2023.  Check your medications, your doctors, your plans, and who you decide to help you. 

These simple factors can potentially save you hundreds of dollars for the year 2023.  

Wishing everyone a successful and smooth AEP 2023.  Please reach out  to Medicare Uncensored and Partner Brokers, if you need help this annual enrollment period  2023.

Don’t forget to download your Free AEP Ready Checklist to help you navigate smoothly this Annual Enrollment Period.

References:

1CY 2023 Medicare Advantage and Part D Final Rule (CMS-4192-F). [Internet]. CMS Newsroom. 29 April 2022 [Cited 24 September 2022]. Available here.

2Medicare Program; Contract Year 2023 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs; Policy and Regulatory Revision in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency; Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-29 Public Health Emergency. [Internet]. Federal Register-The Daily Journal of the United States Government. 09 May 2022 [Cited 24 September 2022]. Available here.

3[Internet].The Official Medicare Website. 2022 [Cited 24 September 2022]. Available here.

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