Ikey Fowler

Open enrollment season for Medicare beneficiaries begins on October 15th and extends through December 7th. This is also known as the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). AEP is an important time for anyone who is already on Medicare. These dates are very specific. You cannot enroll in a plan prior to October 15thor after December 7thunless you have a special circumstance.

AEP is specifically designed to give you an opportunity to enroll into a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA) or prescription drug plan(PDP)for 2020. If you are already on a MA or PDP it is the time for you to review your plan and determine if you want to make any changes for the next year. Either way there are some things that you’ll want to consider.

If you are currently on or are considering a MA or PDP you want to look at the premium, copays, deductibles, coinsurance and the providers that take the plan. You will also want to look at the plan’s drug formulary to be sure the prescription drugs you are taking are covered. Plan details can change from year to year so don’t assume the 2020plans will be exactly like the 2019plans. Also, companies may introduce a new plan in your area for 2020that may fit your needs better than the plan you are currently on.

A confusing thing about AEP is how Medicare supplements are treated. If you are on a Medicare supplement you do not have to wait until AEP to change plans. If you want to change to another supplement you can do that at any time during the year if you meet the new plan’s guidelines. But if you are enrolled in a stand-alone PDP with your supplement the only time you can change the PDP is during AEP.


If you have questions regarding any aspect of Medicare or Medicare health plans feel free call us at Alabama Health Guidance (256-648-5710), stop by our office at 885 Florence Blvd (Four Lane Shopping Center) or email me at ikey@alabamahealthguidance.com.

Alabama Health Guidance is an independent insurance agency and is not affiliated with Medicare or any other government agency.