2018 Medicare Advantage Annual Election Period

Many people on Medicare part B get caught up in the craziness of AEP the last quarter of the year when all the insurance companies start their advertising for the Annual Election Period (a.k.a AEP)

Yes if you make changes you may save on monthly premium but at what real cost?

You might lose your doctor.

Here are things to understand before making that change during AEP!

  1. Your doctor may not take your new plan or may be out of network which will cost you more in the long run if you want to keep the doctors you have grown to trust.
  2. If you go from a Medigap Plan onto another Medigap Plan during this time frame you most likely will be able to do it again in the middle of next year as Medigap Plans are typically underwritten and as long as you qualify through underwriting you can change any time so the crazy does not really apply to you during this AEP season.
  3. Just because your doctor is on a plan in 2017 does not always mean he or she will be on a plan in 2018, in fact, a huge carrier has lost several healthcare and hospital networks and this might mean you lose your doctor unless you change. Many of these networks are sending out a letter and doing outreach to let you know your options but “BUYER BEWARE” things can change even if you don’t!
  4. Insurance agents make a commission on the sale of your new enrollment, and they may not be licensed to sell all plans …so make sure you ask who they offer and who they do not. You might want to talk with several agents to make sure you cover all your options.

These are important changes, and the gap insurance plan you get may be your last so choose wisely and understand the long-term cost of owning your plan including co-pays, deductibles, gaps, holes, and monthly premium. If it sounds to go to be true, it probably is!