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Medicare Minutes: Can I change Medicare plans?

Can I change Medicare plans?

Many people are under the impression that once you enroll in a Medicare plan, you are locked in for life.

Fortunately, that isn’t the case. All Medicare beneficiaries have one opportunity each year to make changes to their coverage. It’s called the Annual Enrollment Period, and it takes place from October 15th to December 7th.

What are my options during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period?

During this time, you can switch from:

  • Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Part C plan);
  • A Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare;
  • One Medicare Advantage plan to another; or
  • Purchase a new Medicare Part D plan, switch from one Part D plan to another, or drop your prescription drug coverage

Why might I want to change Medicare plans?

Now that we know that the Annual Enrollment Period makes it possible to change Medicare plans, let’s talk about some of the most common situations in which you might want to take advantage of this once-a-year opportunity:

  • If your prescriptions have changed in any way, it’s always smart to double check that your current plan covers your new drugs.
  • If you need dental, hearing, or vision coverage and don’t have it on your current plan, it may be in your best interests to switch to a plan that would help with these expenses.
  • Premiums can change each year, so it’s worth exploring your options to ensure you’re not paying more than you need to.
  • If you change doctors or start seeing a specialist, you could save a lot of money by switching to a plan that includes these providers in their network.

These are just a few of the reasons you might consider changing Medicare plans. It is always worth reevaluating your plan in preparation for AEP. Even if you’re not unhappy with your current plan, you may find a new or more affordable option. Check out our Annual Enrollment Preparation Checklist if you’re thinking about finding a new Medicare plan during next year’s AEP.

Want personalized Medicare guidance?

You can reach out directly to Renew by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1-888-41-RENEW. One of our licensed Medicare agents would be happy to help answer any questions you have.

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Read our quick-start guide for help, including which questions you should be asking as you approach retirement.

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