It’s that time of year again. Yes, AEP, Annual Election Period is upon us. Most people know this period between October 15th and December 7 as Open Enrollment. It is when you can move to another Medicare Plan if you are either unhappy with your current plan or there is another plan you like better.
In my humble opinion, people get way to wrapped up in this period. If you have a good, full time medicare advisor, you won’t have to stress this at all. I make sure all my clients that are eligible are signed up with NY State EPIC. On EPIC, you can move from one plan to another without having to wait for AEP. Did you read that correctly?
If your advisor or agent has not set you up with EPIC, you need a new advisor. Of course, if your income is to high you cannot get on. It is very rare that I run across people with income to high. You have to be over $75,000 as a single and $100K as a couple to be ineligible.
I have a simple rule with my clients. As long as you are healthy and not running in and out of the hospital, a Medicare Advantage plan will suffice. Which plan will depend on the amount of Bells and Whistles you want. Do you want Dental or Gym memberships? Are you okay with an HMO or would you prefer a PPO? Do you even know the difference?
On the other hand, if you have a condition that requires multiple hospital stays or if you want to have complete freedom of choice, then Medicare Supplements with a Part D Prescription plan is this answer.
I normally sit down with a calculator and with the client’s input we find the right plan for them.
Again, the great thing about EPIC is that you can change plans at any time if you health change. You literally do not ever have to worry about AEP or Open Enrollment again.
One more thing. If you are the type of person that enjoys doing all your own research and would prefer not to work with a professional Medicare Advisor, you are in luck. Every plan available, with coverages, copays,etc. is listed on Medicare.gov: the official U.S. government website for Medicare. In fact, I suggest to all of my clients to get familiar with this site because it has answers to any questions you may have pertaining to medicare.
Although I believe that AEP is a stress period that you can avoid here in NY because of EPIC, it is still the period of time that I, and all Medicare Advisors, get all my new clients. So I really can’t complain, right?
It is true, I can’t complain about new business but if you happen to become one of my new clients this year, you can rest assured you will not have to go through another one if I can help it.
If you have questions, give me a call. My motto is that if you pick up the phone, So Do I.