Medicare Open Enrollment: 3 Things to Know

Don’t miss the once-a-year opportunity to make changes to your Medicare plan.

It’s that time of year again: Medicare Open Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. By now you should have received your Annual Notice of Change packet of information in the mail. It’s so important to take the time to sit down and review this information to see if you need to make any changes for next year.

“Whether you have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, don’t miss this seven-week window to make changes to your insurance coverage,” advises Nicole Duritz, AARP vice president, Health and Family—Education and Outreach. “If your health and prescription drug needs have changed, or your current plan has made changes, now is the time to make adjustments.”

>> 8 Things You Need to Know About Medicare

Medicare Open Enrollment

During Medicare Open Enrollment, AARP recommends that you evaluate your current health and prescription drug coverage and make adjustments based on changes in your health status, income, lifestyle or personal preference. For instance, you can add or switch your Medicare prescription drug coverage based on the specific medications you need. Or you may want to change plans so you can continue seeing your doctor or continue going to the same health care center.

Here are three things AARP wants you to know about Medicare Open Enrollment.

1. Main changes you can make
• You can switch from Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to a Medicare Advantage Plan
or vice versa.
• You can switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
• You can switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
• You can join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.

2. Consider the “four C’s”
Cost: Compare monthly premiums, annual deductibles, copays and coinsurance.
Coverage: Review the doctors and pharmacies included in the plan, as well as prescription drugs and other services you need.
Convenience: Look at the accessibility of doctors, pharmacies and services in the plans.
Customer service: Assess the quality of service a plan provides. Quality ratings are available for most Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans at

>> Get discounts on health services with your AARP Member Advantages.

3. How to make Medicare plan changes
You can make changes to your Medicare insurance plans during open enrollment by visiting the Medicare Plan Finder at or by calling Medicare at 800-633-4227. Need help understanding your options? You can contact the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (800-677-1116) for personalized health insurance counseling at no cost.

Other Helpful Resources
Medicare Open Enrollment and You: Gives helpful information from AARP to make the most of your Medicare coverage
AARP Medicare Q & A Tool: Provides easy-to-understand answers about Medicare (available in Spanish at
•  Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: Provides comprehensive information about Medicare and Medicaid
State Health Insurance Assistance Program: Offers free personalized health insurance counseling

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