Annual Enrollment Period is upon us

9:47 AM, Oct 26, 2021
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The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is a once-a-year opportunity for millions of Medicare-eligible Americans to pick a health plan or make changes to their current health care coverage. AEP runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7

each year. Remember, If you’re a Medicare beneficiary and you don’t make an enrollment decision, you’ll be locked into your current plan for an entire year.

What should you consider during this enrollment period?

  • Start with your doctors. If you’re happy with your primary care provider, confirm that they’ll be in the care provider network for the health plan you choose. Otherwise, you can select a new primary care provider.
  • Know your coverage. Do you need a plan that covers dental vision and hearing? If you’re Medicare-eligible this may mean a Medicare Advantage plan. Make sure you review your choices.
  • Consider what works best for you. Make sure you understand the costs and benefits of each plan so you can find coverage that works best for your lifestyle, health needs and budget.

In summary, the three key points to consider when reviewing are care, coverage and choice.

What do you need to know about Medicare coverage if you’re a caregiver?

As a caregiver, we know how important it is to help a loved one through the Medicare AEP process. Make sure you keep the following in mind:

  • AEP runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year.
  • Understanding their needs: Figure out what’s most important to your loved one and make sure they’re getting what they need with their current doctor and health plan. Here are some questions to consider: 
  • Does their doctor specialize in serving adults 65+ with specific chronic conditions? 
  • Do they make time to understand their unique needs related to their condition? 
  • Does your loved one have a personalized care plan that helps them meet their individual health goals? 

By answering these questions, together you and your loved one can determine if they are getting the right care to meet their needs.

How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect this year’s enrollment process?

  • Health care visits have changed. Maybe you need a doctor who is willing to spend extra time with you as you navigate new health concerns. Or, perhaps you need a health plan that includes virtual services, including telehealth options.
  • Don’t wait until the last minute. Start early and give yourself the time you need to make a decision that’s right for you.
  • Make good use of technology. Using online resources, such as or can make comparing health plans a safe way to ensure you are maximizing your health care benefits for next year.

Health care is a priority for everyone. We encourage you to make the right decisions that work best for your needs.

Speak to a licensed insurance agent

If anything has changed this year, we recommend you speak to a licensed insurance agent to help you understand your Medicare choices. To speak with a licensed insurance agent with Optum, call 1-866-964-1547,* TTY 711, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.

* This number will direct you to a licensed insurance agent.

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