Vantage Point

Prep for Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period

By Breck Obermeyer

September. For my line of work in the Medicare insurance world, it’s the last month of calm before the storm. Once October 1 hits, my role usually changes from being out in the community to a more intense focus on serving those with Medicare questions – both on the phone and in our local office – during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). AEP runs from October 15 through December 7, and it’s the one time of year (unless you have a special circumstance) where you can review and make changes to your Medicare coverage if needed. Although it’s only September – and we can’t accept applications to make plan changes until October 15 – you can sure learn about the new plan details that are available for AEP. With that focus in mind, I wanted to take a moment to help you create an AEP Game Plan!

Now, these are just my suggestions and they aren’t the be-all-end-all list, but I’m the type of person who needs a starting place, so hopefully this can help you as we approach the beginning of AEP.

A Quick Recap

During AEP, you really have two options:

So, what exactly does that mean?

You can:

  1. Review and Stay: You’ll be getting your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) document from your current Medicare Advantage plan. It’ll list any changes to your coverage that’ll begin (on your current plan) once January 1, 2023, rolls around. Review your ANOC – and if you like the changes, you can keep your current plan and just let it roll over into the upcoming year.

    An important note: During this time of year, you’ll probably be getting a lot of mail. Make sure you don’t throw your ANOC away.

If you’ve chosen the “Review and Change” route, there are many places where you can find information about new plans that might suit your needs better:

Once you’ve found a health plan that you’d like to consider further, there are numerous ways to learn more about the plan and the company that’s offering it:

Finally, do you need help picking a plan? Always consider the following to see if a new plan would be a better fit for you:

I hope this game plan helps you make the most of AEP, which is right around the corner. You can also view one of my Medicare In Minutes videos on the topic here: Medicare Minutes with Breck. Happy shopping!

Breck Obermeyer, Yakima, WA – Breck Obermeyer is a community liaison with Health Alliance NorthwestTM, serving Yakima County. She’s a small town girl from Naches and has a great husband who can fix anything and three kids who are her world.

Like this article? Feel free to respond to Breck directly or to Thanks for reading!