For 2020 plans, the Medicare Open Enrollment window is October 15, 2019 to December 7, 2019.
This period is sometimes also referred to as the Annual Election Period or Annual Coordinated Enrollment Period.
During this window, you may make changes to your Medicare Coverage. During open enrollment, anyone with Medicare Parts A & B can change to Medicare Advantage (or vice versa). You may also change between Medicare Advantage Plans. This is also the only time of year that you may change between Part D prescription drug plans.
Medicare Advantage plans change from year to year, and some may be discontinued. If you have received a non-renewal notice from your plan, you will need to select a new plan for the upcoming year during the open enrollment period.
Before each open enrollment period, the Medicare Program rates Medicare Advantage plans based on quality and performance.
Ratings are between one and five stars, with five stars indicating the best level of service. Plans with three stars or less are considered poor quality: if your plan rates at this level, you may want to consider changing plans during the open enrollment period.
During the Medicare open enrollment period, it can be well worth checking out new plans. Just because your previous plan was the best fit for you when you selected it doesn’t mean it still is. Premiums, deductibles and provider networks may change within a plan from year to year. Plans can also change their list of covered drugs (also known as a “formulary”). Even if your personal situation has not changed in the past year, you may still find that changing will provide you with a better plan.
If your situation has changed since you last evaluated your coverage needs, changing plans during the open enrollment period can save you hundreds of dollars a year.
A new plan may allow you to see more of your healthcare providers in network, lowering your costs. A new plan may provide a better fit your current medications. Each plan has a different formulary, and aligning that formulary with your own current prescription drug regimen can allow you to minimize the amount you spend at the pharmacy.
You can review plans available in your area using the plan finder tool provided by Medicare.gov (https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx).