It is starting to feel like fall and that means we are fast approaching my favorite time of year, Annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for the Medicare insurance products. The insurance products that work with Medicare must inform their enrollees of the 2022 information by October 1. Many plans send the information to you earlier than that. So you will be receiving this information in the next few days!

This is also the timeframe that all your current plans competitors are looking to get your business. So you will see a significant increase in the amount of mail you get in the coming weeks and months. The Medicare insurance material is in your mailbox in the coming weeks.

All individuals who are eligible for or with Medicare will be receiving the 2022 information packets. Medicare along with the Medicare Advantage Plans, the Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, & the Medicare Supplements all have different coverage pricing and benefits each year.

Many of those changes are announced October 1 for the upcoming year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requires that the insurance companies notify you what your coverage looks like in the New Year by October 1. The next few weeks of September, you will be receiving mail from your insurance company informing you of what 2022 looks like for that plan.

October 1 is the date that all the Medicare related insurance products release their information publically. This is your opportunity to compare their current plan to the alternative plans for the New Year.

The website is one of the best tools to learn about all those plans. The information is released on October 1, and that gives us some time to research some of the alternatives. Then on October 15 the Annual Open Enrollment Period actually begins. This is the date that you can first make a change to your insurance coverage that will begin 1-1-2022. From October 15 to December 7 each year those enrolled in Medicare and the accompanying insurance products can review and change their insurance to a product that will work for them in the New Year.

Those with Medicare will notice an increase in the amount of mail (and maybe email) that you receive in the coming weeks. That mail includes important information about the insurance product you already have. That mail also includes information about many competing products that are available to you.

I do caution people against talking with insurance representatives who call you on the phone. This is true all year long. But especially during the Annual Open Enrollment. Having a conversation with someone from the insurance company, could mean you are changing your coverage even if you don’t mean to do that.

You may have had very little change to our situation medically. You still need to evaluate your insurance decision. That evaluation always begins with your current coverage. Do you like it? Is it still available? Does the pricing structure stay pretty similar with regard to premium and co-pays for medical care and medications? Did it cover your medications easily and affordably and will it still be affordable next year?

When looking at those questions, if all the answers are “Yes” you can probably stay with your current coverage and let it roll over to 2022. In past years, there were plans that were no longer offered, we will know soon about 2022. In previous years there have been plans that change names. Almost every year we have one or two new plans offered. Those are things to watch for.

Your mail box may see more activity in the coming weeks. You will also see more advertising on TV as well. Now I am just reminding you to watch your mailbox and your in-box for Insurance information for 2022