The Road To AEP – Mapping Out Your Journey

Knowing that a journey begins soon can be both exciting and stressful.  You have taken time to consider what you’d like to get out of this adventure, and you’ve considered the advice of loved ones. You have a general idea of where you would like to end up – but the exact destination has yet to be decided. There are a few more things to do before you pack your bags and head out.

You are ready to map out your adventure, and may have a starting point by now.  You may have already made a list of what needs and preferences you have that changed over the past year due to illness, injury, relocation, or a change in your lifestyle. You are ready to take what you know from personal experience and apply it to your annual review of this important aspect of your life.

Before you embark on the Road to Medicare’s Annual Election Period, October 15 through December 7, there are still a few things you will need to do before making a final decision about your destination. You have time now, prior to the AEP, to review your current health care coverage.

The 2012 Medicare benefits will be announced within the next month, and you will want to be prepared to reflect on what aspects of your health care coverage met your needs, and what, if any, additional preferences you have now.

If you already belong to a Medicare Advantage plan, you may want to review your current coverage and review the new 2012 benefits from that plan when your updated benefit information arrives within the next month. When you receive updated benefit information from your current plan, you should read it carefully to determine what changes might affect your individual circumstances.  There may be minimal change to the plan’s offerings, and you may choose to continue to receive your coverage through that plan if it still meets all of your needs.

As you would with any trip, you will probably review other options as well. It is always better to have knowledge of available plans in your area so you can make an educated decision. Just as you would explore brochures from different hotels or vacation packages, you will peruse the materials available from other plans available to you. Once the 2012 benefits are announced, you can also use free, easy to use on-line comparison tools like to make sure you find the health care coverage that is right for you.

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