Harmony Healthcare Blog

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period: What has Changed?

Posted by Melissa Fox on Wed, Oct 26, 2016

Edited by Kris Mastrangelo


Compliance • Audits/Analysis • Reimbursement/Regulatory • Education/Efficiency

medicare_open_enrollment.jpgIt is important for SNF providers to pay close attention to beneficiary healthcare coverage.  The Annual Medicare Beneficiary Enrollment period is active starting in mid-October.  As beneficiaries begin to explore their options regarding traditional Medicare, Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and Part A Medicare Advantage plans, providers should be aware of the changes.

The Annual Coordinated Election Period (ACEP) is underway from October 15th through December 7th, 2016.  The ACEP is often referred to as "Open Enrollment".  SNF providers should know the following when it comes to Medicare Open Enrollment:

  1. Medicare beneficiaries can return to traditional Medicare from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan.
  2. Those who do not have a Part D plan can enroll in one, and those who do have Part D coverage can change plans. 
  3. If no change is requested for Part D plan, the coverage this year will be automatically renewed. However, advise beneficiaries that switching to a different plan might give him or her better coverage with lower prescription costs. The average monthly premium for Part D plans is expected to increase 9% ($42.17) in 2017 to according to recent statistical findings.
  4. Beneficiaries can also enroll in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan or change MA plans. 
  5. Enrollment requests made during the ACEP will have an effective date of January 1, 2017.
  6. Medicare recipients who have monthly Medicare Part B premiums subtracted from Social Security benefits should expect the 2017 Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) to increase by 0.3%. The Medicare Part B increase could top 20% for people with higher incomes.

Harmony Healthcare International (HHI) recommends that SNF providers who have beneficiaries who are looking to enroll or change current plans, read the enrollment rules carefully.  More information regarding open enrollment can be found in the official 2017 “Medicare & You” handbook, which you can download here.

Harmony Healthcare International (HHI) is available to provide onsite analysis and associated medical record reviews to help you improve your Quality Measure Scores.   Please contact Harmony Healthcare International by clicking here or calling our office at 1.800.530.4413.


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Tags: Annual Coordinated Election Period (ACEP), Medicare Open Enrollment

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