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Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) Started Jan. 1

Category: Medicare

By Tom Cretella – CLU at Cretella and Belowsky

January 9, 2023 — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period began January 1. Medicare has plenty of acronyms: AEP, SEP, IEP – but the least used is the OEP or Open Enrollment Period. The OEP is a completely separate enrollment period running each year from January 1 to March 31. It only applies to people who already have a Medical Advantage plan or or other type of Prescription Drug plan. 

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) just ended December 7 for 2023 enrollments. Although most people have renewed current coverage with the same carrier as 2022, the OEP offers a second chance to enroll or disenroll. It comes in handy because we have all endured the blitz of Medicare advertisements in the mail and in all media (BTW, congratulations you survived!) This always brings a challenge because the advertising is aimed at creating doubt, questioning your current coverage, or making you wonder if you should consider a change. Most of the questions I get are from clients or friends who wonder if they are missing something in their current coverage, after being hammered by advertisement during the AEP.  

What Can You Do in this Open Enrollment Period?

The OEP open enrollment period is designed to offer one last chance to change coverage for 2023. For people who play golf, it’s like getting a ‘Mulligan” on your Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan.

What can you do in the OEP?  

People can change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan one more time.

They can leave the Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare, and buy a supplement and PD prescription plan. In some states that rate on age it might mean you could be rated, but you are guaranteed the right to buy a Medigap plan. In CT, for example, you would pay the same rate as everyone else.

People can also change Part D prescription plans one more time.

For more see Medicare: When can I change Medicare plans?

Who are the people likely to use this Open Enrollment Period

The most common use of the OEP option is for people experiencing a change in circumstances, such as network considerations. Or, perhaps their doctor no longer participates in the plan, there is a change in prescriptions, or an adverse medical diagnosis. They might want to change in search of better dental, vision, or hearing aid coverage.

In any case feel free to make a change without worrying about pre-existing conditions or being locked out of coverage.

Happy OEP.

Regards,

Tom

Questions or Comments? You can list your Comments or questions below, or Ask Tom at Cretella and Belowsky.

More Facts about Medicare:

As of late 2022, over 65 million people are enrolled in Medicare.

35 million of those have Original Medicare.

30 million have Medicare Advantage or some other type of health plans. Some of those have plans that include prescription drug coverage.

50 million are enrolled in Medicare Part D: either stand-alone prescription drug plans or Medicare Advantage plans that offer prescription drug coverage.

Posted by Admin on January 8th, 2023

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