October kicks off Medicare’s annual election period (AEP), which is arguably the most important time of the year for Medicare beneficiaries. During this period, which runs from October 15 through December 7 every year, individuals who are already enrolled in Medicare plans can make changes to their plans, select a new plan, or drop their coverage. If you are not yet enrolled in Medicare and your initial election period makes you eligible for Medicare, you can also enroll in Medicare during this period.


Every fall, you may notice that the level of mail you receive in your inbox starts to increase dramatically around early October. This is because insurance companies and brokers can start to advertise to retirees like you on October 1, and this is also the date that insurance companies release their 2018 plans to the public.


You can read more about what to expect during AEP here, but the most important dates to remember are October 15 and December 7.

  • October 15 kicks off the annual election period (also known as the annual enrollment period), or AEP. This is the first day that you can enroll in a new Medicare plan for coverage beginning January 1, 2018.


  • December 7 closes AEP, and that is the final day that insurance companies will accept any changes to your plan or new coverage applications. On this day, the insurance that you have will be the insurance that you keep for 2018. The exception to this is if you qualify for a special enrollment period, which is when special circumstances, like drops in plan coverage or if you move out of a coverage area, qualify you to make changes during the year.


If you want to explore other health plan options for the coming year, or you’re interested in learning how an advisor can help you understand your options, contact us today! We’re setting up appointments for this year’s AEP, and we’d love to talk with you, too!