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Medicare Advantage Plan and Prescription Drug Plan Enrollment Periods

Annual Election Period (AEP)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hosts an election period called the Annual Election Period (AEP), allowing Medicare beneficiaries to enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or a Medicare Advantage (MA) Plan.

CMS has now added a second enrollment period, called the Open Enrollment Period (OEP), which is targeted at Medicare beneficiaries who are actively enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan as of January 1, 2019.

Provided are summaries of the respective enrollment periods.

Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) runs from October 15 through December 7th 

During this period, you may change or add drug coverage; change or enroll into a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan; or if you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you may use this period to disenroll from the plan and return to original Medicare, and add a Prescription drug plan (PDP) and a supplement (if you so desire). 

Unless you are aging into or just becoming eligible for Medicare or have a special election period, the plan(s) enrollments you make during this 7-week period will go into effect January 1, 2019

Keep in mind that if your current MA or PDP is still being offered in 2019 and you wish to remain on the plan(s), you do not have to make any changes. 

Open Enrollment Period (OEP) will run from January 1, 2019 – March 31, 2019

New for 2019, this period effects only those people who are on a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan as of January 1, 2019. 

Those individuals can make one (1) enrollment change during this period. 

A member in a MA plan – with or w/o drug coverage -can enroll in a different MA plan, or go back to original Medicare with or without a drug plan, and with or without a supplement. 

If you are on original Medicare as of January 1, 2019, you are not eligible to make changes during this period unless you are entitled to a special election period.

Medicare can be complicated.  I help educate people on their Medicare options.  I offer free in-home consultations on all life and health products.  Call Bob O’Donnell today at (217) 691-6270 or email me at to schedule your appointment.