AEP is the time of year from October 15th until December 7th every year that people on Medicare should review their current plans to make sure there are not any surprises with the plan’s changes for the new year. In this case 2020.
The things to watch for are first and foremost, premium hikes. I can remember a few years ago we had a major local carrier have a huge premium increase. That was a busy year for sure.
Other big changes include network changes. This is when a doctor, hospital, clinic, etc. decides to drop from the plan’s network. This happens a lot. There is nothing worse than going to your doctor and being informed he or she no longer accepts your plan.
Prescriptions are another big issue. Make sure you know if your plan has any formulary changes. This is problem you surely don’t need.
In addition to surprises, this is the time to look at extra benefits like vision and dental coverage. Some plans have really good coverage in these area.
The easiest way to wade through all these changes every year is to have a good Medicare Advisor. Just like a good accountant, a good financial advisor, a good doctor or a good dentist.
I can tell you as a Medicare Advisor, that I learn every plan from every company every year. Also, make sure you advisor is a broker and can put any plan available. You do not want to deal with a company agent. Not because they are bad but because they are limited. If all they have is a plan that is not strong, well that’s all they have to talk about.