OEP 2022 is Here for Medicare Advantage Plan Holders

oep 2022

We know this time of year can be overwhelming—and we’re not just talking about recovering from the holidays! For Medicare, the end of the year also means your Annual Election Period (AEP) has ended, and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP 2022) is fast on its heels. 

So, what is OEP 2022, and does this enrollment period apply to you? If you’re confused by Medicare’s different enrollment periods, you’re not alone. Today, we’ll review the basics so you know exactly what you are and are not allowed to do during OEP. 

OEP 2022 is approaching

OEP starts on January 1 and runs through March 31. During this period, anyone on a Medicare Advantage Plan can change their plan. You may either switch to another Advantage Plan or to Original Medicare (with or without a Part D drug plan). 

Your agent may have already contacted you about your options during this time. But if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out—they’re there to help you with whatever you need. 

Don’t like your Medicare Advantage plan?

If you chose a new Medicare Advantage plan during AEP and are happy with the benefits, there’s no need to take action. Nothing about your plan will change. You’re all set for 2022!

But what if you’re having second thoughts about the new plan? Or you’ve had a change in your health and now need a plan better suited to your needs. Regardless of the reason, if you feel like your new benefits aren’t quite right for you, OEP is your bonus opportunity to find a more appropriate plan.

What’s new?

The interest in Advantage Plans increases every year. In response, providers have been expanding coverage to more areas, offering more $0 premium plans, and including benefits like fitness and hearing. For 2022, the average beneficiary has 39 plans to choose from!

In 2022, you’ll also see more options for Preferred Provider Organizations (PPO) and Special Needs Plans (SNP). With all these new possibilities, you could discover a different plan that provides benefits you want or need. So if you’re one of the 42% of Medicare beneficiaries who are on a Medicare Advantage plan, OEP is your opportunity to find out!

Reminder: OEP 2022 is just for Medicare Advantage plans

If you’re enrolled in Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you can’t make changes during OEP. This upcoming enrollment period is only for Medicare Advantage Plan holders (Part C). 

Also, you’re only able to switch plans once during this time. Ask as many questions as you need, and explore all your options. You may find a more appropriate plan for you … or you may choose to stay where you are. Either way, you’ll feel secure in the knowledge that you made a fully-informed decision.

Moving? Use the SEP

If you do have Original Medicare and want to change coverage, you may have to wait because AEP ended December 7. But there are circumstances when changes are allowed at any time. 

CMS offers a number of Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs) to make sure you can access health care when and where you need it. SEPs can be used if you lose your current insurance, if you’re moving or if you missed AEP due to a federally declared emergency or natural disaster. 

If you’re moving to a new location, let your agent know as soon as possible so you can start researching the best options available in that geographic area. And if you have questions or concerns about your Medicare plan, call us at 877.255.6273. We’re always happy to help!


image credit: shutterstock/Artur Szczybylo

Pete Blasi