What is Fall Open Enrollment?

Medicare’s Fall Open Enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7 each year, and it’s a time when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage.

During Fall Open enrollment, you can

  • Switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Switch to a new Part D prescription drug plan
  • Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
  • or Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare

Between October 15 and December 7, 2017, you can make as many changes as you need to your Medicare coverage. The final change that you make will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

To prepare for Fall Open Enrollment, you should begin to think about two major things:

First, think about your current health and drug coverage.

If you have Original Medicare, review the 2020 Medicare & You Handbook. This will outline your benefits for the upcoming year. If you aren’t satisfied with Original Medicare or if you are looking for more benefits, Fall Open Enrollment is a good time to make changes.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a stand-alone Part D drug plan, you should receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and an Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from your plan in late September or early October.

These documents outline which providers, pharmacies, drugs, and services your plan covers, and what costs you will be responsible for. These documents also tell you what will change in 2020. If you aren’t satisfied (for example, if a drug you need is no longer on your Part D plan’s formulary, or a provider you see is no longer in your Medicare Advantage Plan’s network), you can make changes during Fall Open Enrollment.

Even if you are happy with the coverage you get, you should review your current coverage and look at other options in your area to see if there are other plans that cost less and/or better suit your individual needs in the coming year. Many plans in 2020 have added Dental and Vision along with Hearing Aid coverage and some even cover over-the-counter items.

Next, think about costs.

Costs can vary widely between different kinds of Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. Some Medicare Advantage Plans charge an additional premium on top of the Part B Medicare premium. Some Part D plans require people to pay a deductible, while others do not.

Another plan in your area could offer you the same or better health and/or drug coverage at a more affordable price or have fewer coverage restrictions. Research shows that people with Medicare prescription drug coverage could lower their costs by shopping among plans each year. The lowest cost Part D prescription drug plan in Maine is $13.20/month.

How do you compare plans?

To prepare, create a list of all the health care providers you see, prescription drugs you take, and pharmacies you use. Contact your agent or call each of the the plans available in your area and ask how they will cover your doctors and drugs. Also remember to ask about extra benefits such as Dental, Vision, Fitness and Over-The-Counter items. You can also research the plans on medicare.gov

If you have questions about this or would like help reviewing the plans available, you can reach out to me using the CONTACT button on the menu at the top of this website or by calling (207) 370-0143.

Read more about working with an agent.

Would you like my help?

If you would like help finding the right plan or just want to ask a few questions, you can call me directly at 207-370-0143 or use my simple form on the CONTACT page of this site to send an email message.  

The best part about working with me is that it will not cost you anything to talk with me to discuss your options and review the plans that are available.  I am paid by the insurance companies in the form of a commission when you enroll in a plan.  You will not pay anything to meet with me and you will pay the same price for your insurance that everyone pays whether they had my help or not.

“My goal is to help people and I have found great joy in being able to offer my services to people who need my help.”

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