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What's the Difference between OEP and AEP

By: Dr. Pariksith Singh, MD, Oct 28, 2022

Medicare OEP Vs. AEP – What do these abbreviations stand for? 

OEP stands for Open Enrollment Period, and AEP stands for Annual Enrollment Period. In this post, we outline the major differences between Medicare Open Enrollment Plan and Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. 

About AEP - Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

The annual Annual Enrollment Plan allows you to review your current Medicare plans. In other words, it is the time to compare and review different health plans available in the market. It also allows the medical beneficiaries to change their current medical plan. It usually starts on 15th October and ends on 7th December. 

What can be Done During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period?

Medicare beneficiaries can do any of the following: 

  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another one.

  • Drop a current Medicare Advantage Plan and go ahead with the Medicare Original one

  • Switch from Medicare Original to a Medicare Advantage Plan

  • Select a Part D plan if you do not currently have one

  • Update your current medicare coverage by changing to a new plan. Now, you can do it with your existing insurer to switch to a new insurer. The choice is yours. 

  • Cancel your existing Part D plan

Moreover, every year an Annual Notice of Change Letter (ANOC) is released to highlight all the changes in the health plans that can affect your medicare plan. In other words, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period gives you a chance to change your medicare plan if you are not happy with your existing one. Also, please note that all changes you introduce during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period will become active from 1st January of the following year. 

About OEP - Medicare Open Enrollment Plan

As we saw above, AEP allows you to make amendments to your existing Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D plan. On the other hand, Medicare Open Enrollment Plan is only for those already enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plan. 

Moreover, it commences on 1st January and ends on 31st March. Also, please note that it is also an annual plan like AEP. 

How can you get ready for the Medicare Open Enrollment Plan?

Whether you enrolled recently or have had a Medicare Advantage Plan for some time, going for Medicare Open Enrollment Plan is a perfect opportunity to introduce changes to or review your plan. 

All you need to do is  think about your past experiences with your plan and overview its benefits. Apart from this, these factors can also help you in getting ready for this Medicare Open Enrollment Plan:

  • Are your doctor and other healthcare providers present in the plan network?

  • Consider if you are comfortable with your existing premiums, copays, deductibles, and coinsurance.

  • Are your prescription drugs on your existing plan formulary?

  • Are you looking forward to additional coverage for medical services like vision, dental or physical therapy, or rehab?

  • Are you content with your existing plan's additional benefits like mail-order pharmacy, fitness programs, nurse line, etc.? 

Bottom Line

So, this was all about OEP and AEP. Please consider searching for the best MD doctor near me on the internet to make the most of your current medicare plan.