This is an advertisement and solicitation.

What is the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare in Simple Terms?

Middle aged couple smiling looking at a laptop at their kitchen counter.

Medicare helps people to afford healthcare services as they age but understanding when to enroll can sometimes be confusing. We’ll cover what Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is and highlight key things you should know in simple terms.

What is the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP)?

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is a specific time that happens every year starting in the fall with dates running from October 15–December 7. During AEP, you can sign up for Original Medicare if you have not done that before, switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage (or vice versa), change Medicare Advantage plans or change Part D prescription drug plans.

Is Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) the same as Open Enrollment?

Yes, they are the same thing but some people call it Open Enrollment or Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for Medicare but please note that this is different from something called Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment.

Guaranteed Acceptance Life Insurance

Coverage options starting at $9.95 a month!

Guaranteed acceptance life insurance without medical exams, health questions, or rate increases.


3 Things to Know about AEP:

  1. Dates Are the Same Every Year: AEP always runs from October 15–December 7 every year so make sure to put these dates on your calendar. Any changes you try to make outside of these dates may not be allowed unless you qualify for something called a Special Enrollment Period which are due to certain life events (e.g., moving to a new state, losing other health coverage, etc.).
  2. Choices Go Into Effect on January 1: Any changes you make during AEP will take effect on January 1 of the following year. For AEP 2023, your choices will take effect on January 1, 2024, which is why doing research sooner rather than later to avoid any disruptions in your healthcare coverage is important.
  3. Current Plans Automatically Renew: If you don’t want to make changes to your existing plan, it will be automatically renewed for the next year but always check your coverage. However, it’s still important to review your plan during AEP to make sure that it continues to meet your needs.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog Special Needs Plans: C-SNP, I-SNP, D-SNP…What You Need to Know

Colonial Penn is here for you!

Colonial Penn has specialized in making life insurance simple and accessible by offering it directly to consumers since 1957. Click here to learn more.

Colonial Penn is a private company that is not Medicare, Medicaid or MaineCare and is not a governmental agency

Related Articles

Get a quick insurance quote now!

Pressed for time? We get it! Select your State to see which of our plans fit your needs and are available to you.