Your Guide to 2020 Medicare Enrollment

The 2020 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is right around the corner, and there’s a lot to know before you sign up for coverage.

This 2020 Medicare enrollment guide can help you make an informed decision about your Medicare coverage for the upcoming year.

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When is Medicare annual enrollment?

There are a handful of times throughout the year that you can enroll in Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plans, such as the upcoming Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for 2020 coverage.

 This enrollment period is sometimes referred to as the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans, or the Annual Election Period.

Medicare AEP graphic

The Annual Enrollment Period lasts from October 15, 2019, to December 7, 2019.

During this enrollment period, you may be able to enroll for coverage that will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

During this seven-week period, anyone who is already enrolled in Medicare may do any of the following:

  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare
  • Enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan
  • Switch from one Part D plan to another
  • Disenroll from a Part D plan

You can call TTY Users: 711 to speak to a licensed insurance agent who can help you determine your eligibility to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and compare plans in your area. We accept calls 24/7.

You do not need to wait until fall annual enrollment beings on October 15 to call. Depending on your situation, you could potentially be eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan outside of the Medicare AEP.

How do I prepare for Medicare annual enrollment?

If you are currently enrolled in Medicare and are considering making changes to your coverage during AEP, there are a few things you may consider ahead of October 15. 

  • Check Medicare’s star ratings
    Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) evaluates and rates all Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans.1

    The ratings are based on a five-star system, and 2020 Medicare Star Ratings will most likely be made available around October 1, 2019. The Star Ratings provide a look at the quality of Medicare Advantage plans, which can help you identify the top-rated plans in your area.

  • Look for your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC)
    If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or a Medicare Part D plan, you should receive an Annual Notice of Change around October 1.

    This letter summarizes any changes being made to your plan for the upcoming year, which can help you prepare accordingly.    

You can also learn more about different types of Medicare coverage that may be available to you:

Do I automatically get Medicare when I turn 65?

If you are not yet 65 years old but are approaching Medicare eligibility, you may still benefit from considering your Medicare coverage options.

Three months before your 65th birthday, you will receive a packet of information in the mail and begin your Medicare Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).

Medicare IEP graphic

Your Medicare IEP lasts for seven months, and you may be able to do the following during this time:

  • Enroll in Medicare Part A
    You may qualify for premium-free Part A if you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years.

    If you are not enrolled automatically (because you have been already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board retirement benefits for at least four months), you’ll have to manually sign up for Medicare.

  • Enroll in or opt out of Medicare Part B
    If you are automatically enrolled in Part A, you will be automatically enrolled in Part B as well.

    Part B is optional, so you will be given instructions on how to drop it if you choose. There should be instructions on how to disenroll from Medicare Part B on the back of your red, white and blue Medicare card.

    If are not automatically enrolled in Part B, you will have to manually enroll in Part B if you wish to have it.

  • Enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan
    If a Medicare Advantage plan is available where you live, you may be able to enroll in one after you are enrolled in Part A and Part B.

  • Enroll in a Part D plan
    Before you can enroll in a standalone Part D prescription drug plan (PDP), you must enroll in Part A.

When can I enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan?

Once you are enrolled in Medicare Part B and are at least 65 years old, you will begin your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

This period lasts for six months and allows you to sign up for a Medicare Supplement Insurance (also called Medigap) plan that is available in your service area without having to undergo any medical underwriting.

If you enroll in Medigap after your open enrollment period ends, you could potentially be charged more (or denied a policy altogether) based on your health.

You cannot have a Medicare Advantage plan and a Medicare Supplement Insurance plan at the same time.

Medigap Plan C and Plan F will not be available to beneficiaries who becomes eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020. Only those who are eligible for Medicare prior to that date will be allowed to purchase these two plans, if they are available.

Beneficiaries who already have Plan F or Plan C before January 1, 2020, will be able to keep their plan.

How do I get started enrolling in 2020 Medicare coverage?

Call today to speak with a licensed insurance agent. An agent can help you determine your eligibility to enroll and help you compare Medicare Advantage plans that are available where you live.

Find Medicare Advantage plans in your area

Compare Plans

Or call TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!