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2022 Medicare Enrollment: 5 Essential Things to Know

5 Things You SHould Know about Annual Enrollment text on image of senior couple

Posted on September 7, 2021 by Kyle Walton

5 Things You Should Know Before the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), also known as the Annual Election Period, is the time of year when millions of Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to review their Medicare coverage to ensure that it is still the best fit for their healthcare needs and lifestyle.

Each year, the Annual Enrollment period is a great time to think about your healthcare needs and make changes if necessary, but what are some of the key elements to understand and consider before next year’s AEP?

Courtesy of MedicareInsurance.com, here are five things you should know before the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.

When does the Annual Enrollment Period start and end?

Annual Enrollment 2022 is October 15 -December 7 text over image of senior couple

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period occurs each year between October 15th and December 7th. In the lead up to the AEP’s start date, you should keep a close eye on your mail, as you may receive important notices from Medicare and/or Social Security.

As you prepare for the 2022 Annual Enrollment Period, take the time to carefully consider your expected coverage needs for the coming year. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any changes to costs or benefits, and evaluate whether your current coverage is still ideal for you.

Many resources, like MedicareInsurance.com, can help make it easier for you to research and compare Medicare plans that may be available in your area.

What can beneficiaries do during the Annual Enrollment Period?

Beneficiaries can Upgrade to Medicare Advantage text over image of senior man

During the Annual Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries can opt for more comprehensive coverage through Medicare Advantage or a supplemental Medigap plan, research and compare Medicare price quotes, including premium, deductibles, and copays, and preview the coming year’s Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage options.

When considering your coverage needs for the 2022 Medicare AEP, think about your need to address the effectiveness and efficiency of the following Medicare plan elements:

  • Health Networks: Does your current plan allow you to see your preferred healthcare provider at no extra charge? Is your pharmacy friendly, fast, and easy to get to?
  • Health Insurance Costs: Does your current plan have a reasonable premium that you can afford? What are the deductibles or copays associated with your current coverage?
  • Covered Benefits: Does your current plan effectively give you easy access to all the healthcare treatments and services you may need? Do you require additional coverage for other healthcare needs like prescription drugs, eyeglasses, dentures, or hearing aids?

If your current plan gives you everything you need when it comes to healthcare at a reasonable price and through your preferred medical professionals and facilities, then you usually will not need to take action. However, if you wish to make changes to any of the aforementioned elements, the Annual Enrollment Period is the perfect time to do so.

The Annual Notice of Change letter will typically be the only form of Medicare advertisement that will come to your home, as current law prohibits unsolicited phone calls or sales visits related to Medicare.

What is an Annual Notice of Change letter?

If you are already enrolled in a Medicare plan, you will receive a notice in the mail shortly before the start of the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. This important notice is known as an Annual Notice of Change letter, and will explain in detail any and all changes that may be coming to the Medicare program or your specific Medicare plan.

The Annual Notice of change letter will also make you aware of any prescription drug Extra Help coverage you may be eligible for. In addition, you may also receive marketing materials, such as brochures, from insurance companies that offer different benefits (and sometimes pricing) through their Medicare health and drug plans.

What is the Medicare & You Handbook?

The Medicare & You Handbook is an incredibly useful resource that thoroughly explains Medicare coverage, costs, enrollment, and more. It is the official government handbook of Medicare, and is updated every year to ensure the information contained within it stays current and accurate.

In addition, the Medicare & You Handbook will contain new information about Medicare coverage and any changes that may be coming to Medicare over the course of the coming year. Often, it is important to stay updated on these changes, as they can occasionally affect your coverage, costs, and other aspects of your healthcare access.

In 2021, you can receive both physical and digital copies of the handbook free of charge.

How can I choose a new plan?

If you or your loved ones feel like changes to your Medicare coverage are warranted and necessary, the Annual Enrollment Period is the ideal time to make them. Prior to mid-October, take the time to carefully review your Medicare coverage materials. Take note of any changes to costs and benefits, and then decide if it is feasible to make a switch.

Once you have a better understanding of your coverage options, make a list of what is needed and important to you. Afterward, you can simply narrow down your options using a process of elimination. Medicare Advantage plans and Medigap supplemental plans may also be beneficial to you depending on your needs and income level.

Evaluating your Medicare options prior to AEP each year is incredibly vital to your overall health, budget, and satisfaction. Available Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) plans and Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug plans can change from-year-to-year, so it’s important to stay ahead of the game.

In need of more personalized guidance regarding your Medicare options prior to the 2022 AEP? At MedicareInsurance.com, we employ friendly, experienced, licensed agents who can help walk you through your options step-by-step. Simply contact us online via our live chat feature, or by phone at (800) 950-0608 today to start comparing Medicare plans near you today.

About the Author

Kyle Walton

Kyle is a professional writer with several years of experience helping to inform the public on many diverse topics and industries, including healthcare. He is a Kutztown University graduate, Class of 2017.

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