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Medicare AEP vs. OEP: What’s the Difference?

Medicare AEP vs. OEP: What’s the Difference?

Understanding the Differences Between AEP vs. OEP

The United States Medicare program is a federal health insurance program for those over 65 years of age and those with specific disabilities. However, the enrollment process can be confusing, especially with the available enrollment periods.

Two necessary enrollment periods are the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) and the Annual Election Period (AEP). Understanding the differences between these two periods is crucial for anyone eligible for Medicare, as it will determine their coverage options and the enrollment timeline.

What is the Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?

The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is a time when anyone eligible for Medicare can enroll in, change, or unenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Prescription Drug Plan. This period typically occurs each year from January 1st to March 31st. During OEP, Medicare beneficiaries have the freedom to choose the plan that best fits their needs without any restrictions.

What is the Annual Election Period (AEP)?

The Annual Election Period (AEP) is another key enrollment period that occurs each year from October 15th to December 7th. This period is specifically designed for those enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans who wish to change their coverage. This can include enrolling in a different Medicare Advantage Plan, switching to the original Medicare, or enrolling in a Prescription Drug Plan.

What’s the Difference between medicare AEP and Medicare OEP?

Eligibility Requirements

Both OEP and AEP have eligibility requirements. To enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan during OEP, an individual must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. To enroll in a program during AEP, an individual must already be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan.

Coverage Options

During OEP, beneficiaries can choose from various Medicare Advantage Plans, including HMO, PPO, and PFFS plans. During AEP, beneficiaries can change their existing Medicare Advantage Plan or switch to the original Medicare.

Timeline for Enrolling

As a reminder: OEP occurs from January 1st to March 31st each year, while AEP occurs from October 15th to December 7th each year. Beneficiaries should be mindful of these timelines, as missing them can result in a loss of coverage or the inability to enroll in a new plan.

Choosing the Right Enrollment Period with ATRIO Health Plans

When it comes to choosing between OEP and AEP, it all comes down to the needs of the senior in your life.

Get the best Medicare coverage for the senior in your life! Contact ATRIO Health Plans today to learn more about your options by calling (877) 672-8620 or filling out our online form.