Get Ready for the Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period starts October 15th and runs until December 7th. During this period, all Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their health or drug coverage. Changes made during this period start January 1, 2022.

Medicare & You 2022 Handbooks are being mailed to beneficiaries now. People already enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan should receive information from their current plan by September 30th detailing any changes to the plan’s coverage or costs in 2022. Everyone is encouraged to review this information to decide whether they should stay with their current plan or join a new plan for next year. If a Medicare plan will not continue in 2022, enrollees should receive notice in early October that their plan is ending December 31st. 

Beginning October 1, 2021, insurance companies are allowed to start marketing their 2022 plans and Medicare’s website,, will show 2022 plan information. Activities and materials by Medicare companies as well as agents or brokers who enroll people into Medicare plans are subject to communications and marketing guidelines which can be found here. PHLP will include information about 2022 Medicare plan offerings in our next newsletter.

Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to create a Medicare account on so they can see personalized information about their current health and drug coverage and Extra Help status. Having an account set up will also allow people to save their drug lists and pharmacies when reviewing their plan options. People who have a Medicare account are also able to print an official copy of their Medicare card should they need one.

Dual eligibles and people with Extra Help who want to change plans in 2021 must act by September 30th!

Dual eligibles (people who have both Medicare and Medicaid) and others with Extra Help have a special enrollment period to change their health or drug coverage once per quarter between January 1st and September 30th. Changes take effect the next calendar month. If a dual eligible wants to change her health or drug plan for the remainder of 2021, she must do so by September 30th.

During the last quarter of the calendar year (October-December), dual eligibles and those with Extra Help can use the Annual Open Enrollment Period (October 15th-December 7th) to make changes to their coverage. Changes made during this time take effect January 1st.  

PA MEDI helps Medicare beneficiaries review plan choices

Assistance from Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight – PA MEDI program (formerly called APPRISE) is available. PA MEDI staff and volunteers can help people across Pennsylvania review their 2022 Medicare coverage options. Medicare beneficiaries who need help reviewing their plan options for next year or dual eligibles and people with Extra Help seeking assistance using the special enrollment period to make a change by September 30th are encouraged to call PA MEDI at 1-800-783-7067.