What does the Annual Election Period (AEP) Mean?

by | Enrolled in Medicare, New to Medicare, See All, Turning 65 This Year

By Gary Smith

If you have Medicare, it is important to know about your options during the Annual Election Period, or AEP as we like to call it here at our agency!

The Annual Election Period happens annually at the end of the year. This year the dates are October 15 to December 7, 2019. Any changes made at this time go into effect January 1 of the next year. In this case, January 1, 2020.

Important Note

The AEP applies to Medicare Advantage Plans and your Stand-Alone Drug plans.  It does not apply to your Medicare Supplement.

Your Medicare Advantage plan or Stand-Alone Drug plan coverage is valid one calendar year, January to December. Each new year means a “new” plan and could potentially mean you may have different copays and/or a different list of covered drugs. 

AEP Annual Checklist

What should you do each year during the Annual Election Period (AEP):

  1. Check in with us to ensure your medications will be covered under the new plan. This applies to a Stand-Alone Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage. There is no guarantee that the medication you are taking in 2019 will be covered in 2020.
  2. How do you make sure your drugs are covered in 2020?Your current plan will send you a list of your current medication(s) and the status of whether they are covered or not. With that list in hand, visit Medicare.gov and see if your medications are covered. Here is the link to find Medicare Plans available in your area.
  3. If you learn your drugs are not covered, we can help you pick a new plan or change your medication to a covered drug.
  4. Review your copays under your new Medicare Advantage plan. If you paid a $10.00 copay in 2019, it does not mean you will pay a $10.00 copay in 2020.
  5. Call Gary Smith Agency if you are having difficulty navigating the Medicare.gov website or if you simply want to talk to someone that will help you figure out what you need. Trust me, we do this every day, all year long. We can help!

Remember at Gary Smith Agency, “We Put the CARE in Medicare” so, we welcome your calls and questions. Call 833-777-GARY (4279)