Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15

Medicare and You Booklet

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) occurs from October 15–December 7, 2018.

Medicare beneficiaries (enrolled in Part A, Part B or both) may join, switch, or drop a Medicare Advantage (MA) Part C HMO or Part D plan. Medicare Advantage members may go back to Original Medicare, but adding a Medicare Supplement Plan (Medigap) without having to answer medical questions will depend on the MA Plan they intend to drop—starting your research early may provide you flexibility.

Attend a free, educational presentation provided by Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP). Call Sourcewise HICAP at (408) 350-3200 option 2 or visit www.mysourcewise.com to view our counseling sites and scheduled presentations.

Sourcewise HICAP helps Medicare beneficiaries by providing unbiased and objective information. HICAP Counselors complete rigorous, ongoing training and are registered with the California Department of Aging.

When Medicare AEP concludes, other enrollment periods begin: January 1, 2019–March 31, 2019 for both the new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MAOEP) and the General Enrollment Period (GEP).

For MAOEP: MA Plan members may switch to a different MA plan or drop an MA plan and revert to Original Medicare with a drug plan. Guaranteed enrollment in a Medigap plan, which minimizes Original Medicare out-of-pocket costs, will depend on which MA plan is dropped. Still, a Medigap may be issued if someone has none of the medical conditions listed in the application.

For GEP: Enroll in Medicare Part B or Premium Part A if you missed your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period and Special Enrollment Period.

HICAP also guides those at the federal poverty level who cannot afford Premium Part A; ask about the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program.

Sourcewise HICAP counseling is free and available to eligible Santa Clara County residents. Contact the Sourcewise Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program: (408) 350-3200, option 2.

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