Medicare enrollment periods allow you to decide on your health coverage for the upcoming year. However, several different enrollment periods will enable you to do different things. Here, we’ll look at Medicare AEP (Medicare Annual Enrollment Period) vs. Medicare OEP (Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period).
What Is AEP?
The Medicare AEP is when to make a few changes to your Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan or Medicare prescription drug (Part D) plan. Any changes will go into effect in January of the following year.
What Can You Do During The AEP Period?
AEP lets you change to a plan that best suits your needs. Here are changes you can make during AEP.
- Drop or Enroll in a Medicare Part D plan
- Switch from one Medicare Part D plan to another
- Switch from the Original Medicare plan and enroll in a Medicare Part C plan
- Drop from a Medicare Part C plan and return to the Original Medicare plan
- Switch from Medicare Part C plan to a different Medicare Part D plan.
What Is OEP?
The Medicare OEP is for an individual that has already enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plan. During OEP, you can change your Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. These changes will take effect on the first of the following month after your request has been processed. It takes place from January 1 to March 31 every year.
What Can You Do During The OEP Period?
Here are changes you can make during the Medicare OEP.
- Add a Medicare Part D plan
- Cancel a Medicare PART D plan
- Change from one Medicare Part C plan to another
- Return to Original Medicare from your Medicare Part C Plan
- You can join a Medicare Part D plan if you return to your Original Medicare.
All Medicare beneficiaries are eligible to change their coverage during AEP during enrollment periods, but only Medicare Advantage enrollees can make changes during OEP at the start of the calendar year. So think carefully about any changes you wish to make.