Each year, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 is the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP). During AEP, you will have the opportunity to explore and choose your Medicare coverage for 2021. You will have many choices, which includes selecting a Medicare Advantage plan or staying with your current option.

Even if you are satisfied with your current option, it is important to review your Medicare plan during AEP for a few reasons:

■ Your plan may change.

The cost and coverage of your Medicare plan may change each year. Make sure that your plan meets your needs. Medicare recommends reviewing your health plan’s “Annual Notice of Change.”

The physician network, specialists and hospitals may change.

To avoid having to find a new doctor or paying for higher costs, it’s a good idea to make sure your doctor is participating in your Medicare Advantage plan physician network. Medicare Advantage physician networks vary greatly in size and composition. This may have important implications. For example, if you are enrolled in an HMO plan, you have limited access to the number of doctors or hospitals. Please check and make sure your primary care physician, specialists, and hospitals you trust and prefer are participating in your 2021 Medicare plan option.

A new plan may be offered — or additional benefits may be available.

Certain plans offer additional benefits not provided by Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans, for example, offer additional benefits, such as dental, prescription drug, vision or gym membership, possibly at no additional cost.

Your healthcare needs may change.

You may find that you want more coverage than you currently have. By planning, you can ensure that you have the coverage that is right for your anticipated healthcare needs.

Your prescription needs may change.

You may require different prescription medications if your healthcare needs continue to change.

Remember, the Medicare annual enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2020.

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MDX Hawai‘i has over 35 years of experience serving the people of Hawai‘i. Our physician network represents over 630 top primary care physicians, and more than 2,200 leading specialists and hospitals. MDX Hawai‘i contracts with Humana HMO, Humana PPO and AARP/UnitedHealthcare PPO Medicare Advantage Plans.