Medicare Annual Enrollment starts October 15 and ends on December 7. Each year drug plans and Medicare Advantage/HMO plans announce their changes for the upcoming year during Annual Enrollment plan changes; these changes can be seen on www.medicare.gov. Sometimes plans have minor changes, sometimes those changes can be significant to a beneficiary. It is important to become aware of any changes with your stand-alone drug plan or Medicare Advantage/HMO plan coverage for the upcoming year to make sure you have the coverage that fits your specific needs for 2019.
If the benefits of your current HMO or current drug plan will not provide the coverage you will need for 2019, you will want to look at other options that will and then submit an enrollment during Annual Enrollment to change to that carrier/plan effective 1/1/2019.
(*NOTE: Medicare Supplement/Medigap policies do not change during Medicare Annual Enrollment, they have been defined by Medicare so the benefits remain the same. In California we have a “birthday rule” that allows those beneficiaries on a Medicare supplement during the 30 days following their birthday to select to change their Medicare supplement carrier and/or switch to a different supplement plan (i.e., Plan F to Plan G) to lower their premium.