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The Complete Guide to the 2024 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

September 26, 2023

The Complete Guide to the 2024 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is an important time of year for millions of Medicare-eligible Americans. During AEP, also known as the Annual Election Period, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to review their current Medicare coverage and make changes if necessary. 

In this article, we'll provide a guide to the fall Annual Enrollment Period for 2024.

When Is The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period runs from October 15th to December 7th each year. This is the time period when Medicare-eligible consumers can make changes to their Medicare coverage to ensure it meets their healthcare needs for the upcoming year. Any changes made during the Annual Enrollment Period will take effect on January 1st of the following year. 

What changes can be made during the Annual Enrollment Period?

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is a crucial time for Medicare-eligible consumers to evaluate their healthcare needs and make necessary changes to their Medicare coverage. During the Annual Enrollment Period, there are several changes that beneficiaries can make to their Medicare coverage, including:

Remember: Any changes you make during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period will take effect on January 1st of the following year, so you should take advantage of this period to review your current coverage and make any necessary changes to make sure you have the right Medicare coverage for your needs.

What other times can you change your Medicare plan?

In addition to the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, Medicare has several other enrollment periods when beneficiaries can make changes to their plans. These enrollment periods include:

  • The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (January 1 - March 31 each year): If you already have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may change your coverage during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. The MA-OEP is from January 1st to March 31st of each year. 

Note: You can only use this enrollment window if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan. You can’t use this period to get into a plan for the first time.

  • Medigap Open Enrollment Period: The best time to enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period. This is the 6-month period that starts the first day of the month you're 65 or older and signed up for Part B. After this period, your options to buy a Medigap policy may be limited and the policy may cost more.
  • Medicare Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs): Medicare SEPs are triggered by special circumstances and life changes, giving you a one-time chance to enroll in Original Medicare or make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage. Read our Guide to Medicare Special Enrollment Periods to learn more.

What are some tips for preparing for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

Here are some tips to help you prepare for the AEP:

  • Review your current healthcare needs: Take some time to think about any changes to your healthcare needs over the past year. Consider whether you've been using certain services more or less frequently and whether your current plan still meets your needs.
  • Review your current plan: Give your Medicare plan an annual check-up by reviewing what it covers and what it doesn’t to ensure it’ll continue to meet your needs next year. 
  • Review your Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC): Your insurance carrier will mail your ANOC in September each year. This important notice will include any cost or coverage changes to your Medicare plan for the upcoming year. This gives you time to review and compare different Medicare plans that become available starting October 1.
  • Consider your budget: To prepare for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, review your current healthcare expenses and determine what you can afford to pay for healthcare coverage in the upcoming year. Compare the costs and benefits of different plans to find the best plan that meets your healthcare needs and budget.
  • Compare plans: You can find and compare Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans through using our online Medicare plan comparison tool
    Note: You can begin comparing and reviewing 2024 Medicare Advantage plans starting October 1. 

Why are Medicare Advantage Plans appealing to customers?

Medicare Advantage plans are appealing to many for several reasons:

  • Additional benefits that Original Medicare may not cover: These may include dental, vision, hearing and prescription drug coverage. 
  • No annual cap on your spending: Medicare Advantage plans typically have a cap on out-of-pocket expenses, which can provide financial protection for beneficiaries who require frequent medical care.
  • Care coordination & disease management programs: These may help ensure beneficiaries receive appropriate and timely care. 
  • Combined benefits in one plan: Many Medicare Advantage plans may offer the convenience of having additional benefits covered under one plan. This means you only have to work with one insurance company for your Medicare insurance needs.

What types of Medicare plans are available for those with limited income?

If you’re eligible for Medicare and have limited income, programs may be available to help you save on Medicare costs. 

The Medicare Savings Program can help pay for some of your out-of-pocket costs, such as copays, deductibles, and premiums for Medicare Part A and Part B. Most of these programs are for beneficiaries who also qualify for Medicaid. 

Not to mention, Medicaid covers the majority of your costs when you join a Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plan. You can check if you qualify for these programs by contacting your local Medicaid office.

If you need help paying for the costs of your part D drug costs, you can also see if you qualify for Extra Help. This program is designed to reduce the costs of Medicare prescription drug plans. If you have an existing Medicare prescription drug plan or plan to join one during the AEP, you can visit the Social Security website to check your eligibility for Extra Help. This program can provide significant cost savings for those who qualify, making it easier to afford necessary medications.

How can you find the right Medicare Advantage plan for you during AEP? 

Finding the right Medicare plan for your needs can be a daunting task. But you can begin comparing and reviewing 2024 Medicare Advantage plans starting October 1. 

Just contact our licensed insurance agents seven days a week by calling us toll-free at 1-800-620-4519 (TTY 711) weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.
You can also use our Medicare Advantage plan comparison tool to help you assess your needs, view Medicare plans in your area, and find a Medicare Advantage plan to match those needs. 

Tip before you call us during AEP!
 Be sure to have these 3 items handy before you call us or enroll in a Medicare plan online:

  • Your Medicare number, which is found on your red, white and blue ID card.
  • Your list of prescription drugs and preferred pharmacy.
  • Your list of preferred doctors and hospitals.


Our licensed insurance agents are available to help. Call us toll-free at 1-888-605-1433 (TTY 711). 

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