When Is the Aetna Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

In this article...
  • The type of Aetna Medicare plan you want determines the Open Enrollment Period you can use to sign up. Learn how to enroll in a Aetna Medicare plan during the fall Open Enrollment Period or during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period.

If you want to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or a Medicare Supplement plan from Aetna or any other insurance company, you must do so during the appropriate enrollment period. 

In this Aetna enrollment guide, we detail which Medicare open enrollment period correspond with which type of Aetna Medicare plan so you can apply for the right coverage at the right time. 

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When Is the 2024 Aetna Open Enrollment Period?

The timing of which open enrollment period to use depends on the type of Aetna Medicare plan in which you wish to enroll.

When to Enroll in Aetna Medicare Advantage Plans

There are four types of enrollment periods during which you may be able to enroll in an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan.

  • Your first opportunity is during your Initial Enrollment Period. This period begins three months before you turn 65 years old and continues for three more months. During this seven-month enrollment period, you may enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan.

    If you enroll in Original Medicare or in a Medicare Advantage plan that doesn’t include drug coverage, you may add Medicare drug coverage through a Medicare Part D plan during this enrollment period.

  • Another time you may be able to sign up for an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan is during the Annual Enrollment Period, otherwise known as AEP or the fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period. This period lasts from October 15 to December 7 each year. During the fall Open Enrollment Period, you can add, drop or switch a Medicare Advantage plan and/or your Medicare Part D coverage.

  • If you are have a qualifying life event, you might have another opportunity to enroll in an Aetna Medicare Advantage plan during a Special Enrollment Period. These enrollment periods are only granted to Medicare beneficiaries who experience certain life events such as moving to a new area, losing coverage through no fault of your own and more. 

  • There is another open enrollment period that applies to Aetna Medicare Advantage plans. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period runs from Januar 1 to March 31 each year. This enrollment period is only for existing Medicare Advantage plan members who wish to change to a different plan or drop their coverage and return to Original Medicare. 

When to Enroll in Aetna Medicare Part D Plans

You may enroll in an Aetna Medicare Part D plan during:

  1. Your Initial Enrollment Period
  2. The fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period
  3. A Special Enrollment Period (when eligible) 

Compare Medicare Part D plans from the insurance companies that offer plans where you live, which may include Aetna.

When to Sign Up for Aetna Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Plans

Technically, you may enroll in an Aetna Medicare Supplement plan at any time of the year. However, the best time to do so is during your Medigap Open Enrollment Period

  • Your Medigap Open Enrollment Period only lasts for six months.

  • It begins the month you are at least 65 years old and enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B.

  • In certain states you may be able to enroll in an Aetna Medicare Supplement plan before turning 65 years old if you have qualified for Medicare because of a disability. 

During your Medigap Open Enrollment Period, you have guaranteed issue rights. That means Aetna (or any other insurance company) is not allowed to base your Medigap premiums on the results of any health questions or physical exam.

If you choose to enroll after your Medigap Open Enrollment Period has ended or during another time when you don’t have guaranteed issue rights, insurance companies reserve the right to perform medical underwriting and charge a higher rate for your plan if you are determined to be a higher risk. 

For many beneficiaries, their Medigap Open Enrollment Period coincides closely with their Initial Enrollment Period.

How Do You Qualify For A Special Enrollment Period?

A Special Enrollment Period may be granted at any time of the year for a number of reasons. Most reasons can be categorized into one of the following:

  • Your primary residence changes 
  • You lose your current coverage 
  • You have an opportunity to get other coverage 
  • Your plan changes its contract with Medicare

Some of the most common scenarios for which a beneficiary is granted a Special Enrollment Period include:

  • Moving to a new area
  • Leaving a job (and therefore losing the employer-sponsored health insurance coverage)
  • Gaining or losing Medicaid eligibility because of an increase in income
  • Having a plan that does not renew its contract with Medicare

The timing and duration of each Special Enrollment Period may be slightly different depending on the exact circumstances of the individual.  

Does Everyone Have the Same Enrollment Period?

Medicare enrollment periods are standard across the board, and all insurance companies who sell Medicare plans are bound to participate in the same annual enrollment periods and the same types of open enrollment periods. 

What Is The Purpose of an Open Enrollment Period?

The purpose of an enrollment period is to allow beneficiaries an opportunity to perform an annual audit of their coverage and needs and make any changes to their coverage that they feel is necessary. 

Medicare plans can change each year. Premiums can fluctuate, health care providers can join or drop out of the network and the plan can add, drop or change certain benefits. Likewise, an individual can have changing health care needs and you may find yourself in a plan that doesn’t properly address your specific health condition. 

An enrollment period is a chance to make sure you have the best coverage at the best price for your needs. 

Where Can I Learn More About Aetna Enrollment Periods?

Contact a licensed insurance agent with any further questions about Aetna Medicare enrollment periods or if you wish to confirm your eligibility. 

If you are ready to start shopping for plans in your area, you can request a free plan comparison online or call to get help comparing plans from a licensed agent.

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