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What you need to know about Medicare open enrollment 2023

Written by:
January 17, 2023

Medicare open enrollment is from October 15 to December 7, 2022. Also known as the annual election period (AEP), it’s the period of time when you can change your Medicare plan without needing a reason or waiting for the next open enrollment period.

You can make changes to your plan, add and drop your stand-alone Part D plan, and switch from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. Here’s what you need to know about Medicare open enrollment 2023.

When is Medicare open enrollment in 2023?

Medicare’s initial enrollment period begins when you first become eligible for Medicare, which is generally when you turn 65.

After you’re enrolled, you must wait for the open enrollment period to join, switch, or drop a plan. There’s an AEP that runs for three months, from October 15 to December 7, each year.

What can you do during Medicare open enrollment?

If you’re already enrolled in Medicare coverage, you can make changes during the AEP. As long as you request changes by December 7, your newly selected coverage will begin on January 1. Here are changes you can make:

  • Move from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage
  • Switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare (plus prescription coverage and possibly a Medigap plan)
  • Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • Add, cancel, or change the prescription drug plan

For information about Medicare and to compare plans, call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit Medicare.gov.

What if you change your mind before the December 7 deadline?

Although Medicare is a complicated program, most people are satisfied with their health care. But what if you modify your coverage and then change your mind? It’s okay — there is no limit to how many times you can make changes.

You can change your plan as often as you need during open enrollment. The final plan selection you make as of the deadline on December 7 will go into effect on January 1.

How will Medicare coverage plan costs change for 2023?

Health care costs can cut deep for older Americans on a fixed-income budget, especially with inflation running higher than the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment. You might be surprised that costs and deductibles for Part B are expected to go down in 2023.

  • Part A (hospital insurance) is $0 for most people, but the deductible will go from $1,556 to $1,600 in 2023.
  • Part B (medical insurance) is $170.10 each month but will drop to $164.90 in 2023. The deductible will also decrease from $233 to $226 in 2023.

Costs for Part D (drug coverage), Part C (Medicare Advantage), and Medigap (supplement insurance) are hard to pin down. Your costs depend on which plan you join, and the amount can change each year.

Do you have to make changes during open enrollment?

If you’re happy with your existing coverage, you don’t have to make any plan changes. Your coverage will automatically renew for 2023. However, your costs and benefits could change. For example, your plan might change its provider network or coverage for prescription drugs.

Reviewing your options each fall is a great way to ensure your doctors and prescriptions are covered. After the AEP ends, you won’t be able to make any changes to your Part D coverage until the next election period.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll have another opportunity to modify your coverage. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from January through March.

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