How an IVA is Managed

how an IVA is managed

Once an IVA has been formally agreed by your creditors then it becomes legally binding on all parties concerned, although that’s certainly not to suggest that it can’t be amended going forward.

Once the terms of your IVA have been agreed with your creditors the Court will appoint your chosen insolvency practitioner to become the supervisor of the IVA.  It is then his or her responsibility to ensure that all payments are made to your creditors in a timely manner and that all obligations under the IVA are properly fulfilled.

Throughout the duration of the IVA you must ensure that payments are made to your chosen advisor on time and in the event you find yourself struggling to make payments then you must advise them of this as soon as possible.  Communication is key.  By engaging positively with your creditors throughout the IVA then you’ll more likely reach a suitable outcome and most importantly, start to rebuild your financial future in a more positive light.

What to do if your circumstances change

Sometimes circumstances change – for the better, or even the worse.  Typical examples of change can include:

  • Receiving unexpected funds (such as a successful compensation claim or inheritance)
  • An increase or decrease in salary
  • Redundancy or other reasons for unemployment
  • Finding out about an additional debt that you weren’t previously aware of (sometimes referred to as an ‘unknown creditor’)

Provided that you speak with your advisor as soon as possible then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to vary your IVA to take account of any changes you might encounter throughout its duration.

How payments work

Once your IVA has been accepted you’ll simply pay one affordable monthly repayment to your advisor who will then distribute it to your creditors.  This payment will typically include your advisor’s own fees too, which are usually in the region of £5,000.00.

What happens if any assets are included in the IVA?

If you’ve incorporated any type of assets into the IVA (such as a vehicle, or other property) then your advisor will sell these to raise further funds and distribute them in accordance with the IVA requirements.

If you have a property with any equity in it then you may also be required to re-mortgage it during the last year of your IVA to raise a lump sum.  However, this very much depends on the property’s value and whether your creditors consider you have sufficient equity in it.

Who will manage the IVA?  My creditors or my advisor?

Once you’ve entered into the IVA then the ongoing management will be dealt with by your advisor.  Make sure you pick the best IVA company for your  situation. Your creditors will no longer be able to make contact with you; nor will they be able to request any further money at the end of it.  Any remaining balance will simply be written off.

Your advisor will keep the IVA under constant review and of course, will make contact with you should he or she have any specific concerns along the way.

Your Trading Business is Not so Insecure

Many traders will fear about their trading business after starting. Even after some good amount of time in this profession, people will not get proper faith in their business. Those are the traders who do not get good outcomes from their trades. So for a good performing trading business, you will have to give yourself some pats on the back and say it is okay. Otherwise, there will be no one for you to hold onto the rope. Then there will come the proper trade setup for your own trading business. It is the trading approach and strategies we are talking about. For each and every traders in this world, the strategies are the must. When they can make a good edge from proper strategies, the business will gloom with profits. So, without getting worried, let’s try to make the business more fun to handle.

Go with the flow from start

So what flow the traders will have to follow from their startup in the trading business? In the beginning, the traders will have to learn and give themselves self-confidence in this profession. Then there will come the proper knowledge about the trading process. They will help the new UK traders to make their own trading strategy from scratch. Then there will come the proper methods of trading. After that, the money management which is one of the most important things in this business will come. If all the traders can follow this kind of path for their business, there will definitely be good results in the trading business. So, think about what you want from this profession and start doing the right thing.

Consider it as your alternative source of income

Trading is extremely profitable when you consider it as your alternative source of income. Those who are trading CFDs for a long period of time, know very well how to manage their risk exposure with an extreme level of accuracy. Once you start to believe trading is your alternative source of income, you will slowly begin to reduce your risk and find good setups in your trading platform. This will eventually help you to make a consistent profit in the long run. Try to focus on rational logic as it will drastically improve your win factors. This will eventually help you to become a ful-ltime trader.

Master your own strategies

So we have talked about the strategies of trading in the last segment of this article. When the traders will be able to make their own trading strategy for all the step of this business, it will be one of a kind. We are telling it will be like that because for each and every trader in this world it is really good to deal with own plans and strategies. Thus, if your knowledge is good and the traders can make a good trading strategy from them, it will be according to the particular mind and some choices of that mind. Many traders mistake thins and totally miss this part of preparing for the trading business. They are the people suffer in the real business with improper trading approaches. Don’t be like them and make your own trading business far secured that it looks.

Make a solid plan for money

For all the traders this is a really good advice. If you want to be consistent and manage all the trades properly, making plans are a must. With consistency in the trading approach, any trader can manage the whole process properly. If the position sizing is good, then the risk management of all the trades can be precise for making the great risk to profit margins. Then there will be no problem with the proper closing of any trade. So, the traders will have to think about it in their business and make a solid plan for all the trades. It will be a demo plan which can be diversified according to the condition of the markets.

Can I Earn a Living Trading Penny Stocks?

Who wouldn’t be enticed by the possibility of making a living trading penny stocks? Could you quit your day job and make a living through the stock market? Could you sit in your pajamas in a mansion, trade using your computer, and live the dream? The short answer is that you could. Keep in mind, however, it doesn’t mean you wouldLearn more about the many factors that go into successful penny stock trading.

Understand How Penny Stocks Work

Image via Flickr by Got Credit

Having success in trading any type of stock is dependent on an individual trader’s ability. You can make a living by trading penny stocks if you are smart about trading overall. To do so, you need to start with research.

A penny stock is a stock valued at less than $5 dollars. While companies behind these types of stocks are generally small companies, trading penny stocks nonetheless involves a certain amount of volatility. Although it is not investing in the traditional sense, you need to stay informed when you invest in penny stocks.

Find a Mentor

One of the best steps you can take as a beginner is to find someone to guide you. While a learning curve exists, acquiring a mentor to show you how to invest in penny stocks can be the difference between making some extra income and making a living. If you try trading with only your research behind you, you can probably make a supplemental income; however, you’ll have to be patient while waiting to get a decent return. With a knowledge source, you can go from making some spare change to living your dream.

Ignore the Hype

Taking this advice is probably the hardest thing to do when you’re starting out. Don’t get caught up in success stories. You can’t buy stocks like lottery tickets and expect to get a steady, decent return. You may end up getting some extra income, but your chances of becoming one of the success stories with a sole income source will drop significantly.

Don’t Get Attached to the Stocks

If you want to get some good returns and build a steady income, then you have to remember to sell quickly. You can’t hold out for a better return or get attached to any one investment. The reason penny stocks can be so lucrative is that they give you the availability to earn a 20 to 30 percent return in only a few days. You have to remember that you are investing minimal amounts, and you can’t hold out for off-the-chart results and take it where you can get it.

Penny stocks are not for everyone. Trading can be a lucrative career path, but only if you are willing to put in the work. Just like everything else worth achieving in this world, being successful doesn’t come without some effort. Nonetheless, if you put in the work and “play the game” smart, you could be one day sitting in that mansion of your dreams through smart trading strategy.

Things To Remember To Help Minimize Cost for Your Business

Owning and managing an SME in this corporation-focused world can be difficult. But there are many businesses which are considered successful and stable despite the small scale of their operations.

Running any business is never easy. You’re constantly regaled with problems and you’ll be facing many difficult situations on a day to day basis. Keeping a tight ship is key. On top of that, it’s important to consider the financial needs and the potential issues you’ll be facing. It’s necessary to constantly keep an eye on the status of your finances.

Decisions need to be made. Options have to be sorted through. But, where exactly should you look to properly minimize the cost?

On legal services

  • One necessary thing when setting up your own business is having a reliable legal counselor or legal service behind you. This is because they are aware of what types of processes you must go through to legalize the whole business. But not knowing the specifics can be costly. Remember that you need to constantly pay them and you also have to provide for fees if specific requests are made.
  • Be upfront with your lawyer about what your needs and what your financial limitations are so they won’t be demanding more or expecting more from you.
  • DIY documents that are simple and can be handled on your own. If you’re familiar with the process, then take care of it as well.

On business trips

  • Taking trips is something necessary from time to time. You need to have the proper budget for it. In fact, it should be something you have to prepare for every single year. Despite not having guaranteed trips every time, at least, you can immediately go when needed.
  • Be frugal when traveling.
  • Choose accommodations and business trip expenses according to what’s necessary. There’s no need to stay somewhere fancy for a simple business meeting.
  • Always document the expenses and keep records. Ask for receipts. If they can’t provide any, then record it right after the transaction. This way, you won’t forget anything.

On loans

  • Personal loans are what you call giving money to the business from your own pocket with the amount not being part of the initial capital. Lending personal funds to your own company is quite common but can also be very risky. If you don’t keep track of this, it’ll be hard for you to take back what you’ve spent.
  • Personal loans need to be paid first once your business starts earning.
  • If there’s a need to apply for a loan on any lending company or bank, don’t wait for the last minute. This will make things difficult, especially when they decide to reject your loan or if the application process took longer.

On financial management

  • Daily bookkeeping and recording of expenses and profits must be observed. Other companies often use third-party services for a variety of reasons. There are numerous benefits to this particular option. But others have decided that it’s best to just take it of this on their own to minimize the cost. The decision to hire a professional bookkeeper is entirely up to you.
  • Invoicing companies can be helpful. Not only will they provide basic invoicing services, but they’ll also be able to help with investments. Of course, it’s up to you to decide if having their assistance is imperative.
  • Always record every single thing. There needs to be an authentic paper trail and an updated record when there are changes so it’ll be easier to trace everything. In case of problems and issues, you’ll have proper documentation.
  • Have a separate bank account for personal and business needs.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself before Taking out an Installment Loan

Navigating the loan marketplace can be a frustrating experience. You might require financing right away, but, due to your bad credit rating, this could be difficult for you to accomplish. Nevertheless, is there a solution to this commonly-met problem? Is there a loan option that would be more advantageous for you?

Introducing Installment Loans

Before we concentrate on the questions you should tackle before considering installment loans, you should understand how they work. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Expressly, an installment loan entails borrowing a given sum of money, and paying it back in installments, over a designated timeframe.

If you manage to make timely repayments, this will showcase you as a reliable borrower. To that end, we could say that installment loans can contribute to enhancing your credit. In general, the credit rating constitutes no less than 35 percent of the FICO score. This is why you should focus your attention on boosting your credit. Being a responsible borrower can contribute to this.

What Is the Repayment Period for Installment Loans?

As a rule of thumb, the repayment period for installment loans is long. More specifically, the loan might extend up to five years, or somewhere around that. Nonetheless, carry in mind that, the longer the lifespan of the loan, the more you’ll end up paying in interest and other costs. So, factor in this aspect before filing your application.

Do Installment Loans Include Prepayment Fees?

Considering that you have the financial means of making the repayments sooner than expected, will this entail additional penalties or fees? This is an important consideration that shouldn’t miss your focus. Depending on the lender, you might be charged with prepayment penalties if you intend to pay the loan earlier. That’s because this will diminish the amount of money you should have paid in the form of interest, which is in the disadvantage of the lender.

As a rule of thumb, though, prepayment fees are included if the size of the loan is considerable. To that end, prepayment penalties are, at the time being, much less common than they used to be in the past, which is, of course, a good thing.

Must I Provide Collateral?

In some cases, installment loans might be secured. But this isn’t the norm. However, you might still opt for a secured installment loan, if you have the possibility to do so, as secured loans usually come with lower, more convenient interest rates and terms. That’s because the inclusion of security diminishes the risk for the lender; therefore, making the terms more convenient for you.

In comparison with other short-term loans on the marketplace, installment loans are more convenient, as they aren’t as risky. Nevertheless, loans are hardly created equal – which is why we encourage you to consult different sources before making a decision in this respect. At the same time, it’s always sensible to factor in more alternatives, before making a financial decision that will imminently impact your future.

Regulated Bridge Loan Completion Times Are Slowing Down

There are many factors that are at play when it comes to the successful completion of a loan. A client needs to know what type of loan they are taking out and feel secure in the knowledge that they will be able to pay it back. They need to be able to want that loan in the first place as a source of capital for a project or investment worthy of taking out a loan. They need to be sure that the loan in question is the best possible financial option for their needs. And, of course, they need to be able to actually get the loan in time for it to be of use to them.

That last criteria may seem obvious, and yet, it is an altogether too common refrain among those taking out loans that the process can take too long. While it is important that any lending process be carefully scrutinized by the lending party, it also needs to be undertaken with an eye towards completing it in a timely fashion, so as to allow the borrowing party to get the funds when they need them.

It is thus a source of concern for some that the average time to complete regulated bridge loans rose over the course of 2018 from 43 days to 46 days.

Why Is This Happening?

There are several potential reasons that this may be happening, not the least of which being:

  • Changes within the logistics of the industry itself which have resulted in slowdowns
  • Changes to the manner in which these loans are approved
  • Concerns over Brexit causing consumers to be more wary of taking out a loan

Reasons for Taking out a Loan

There reasons for taking out regulated bridge loans, meanwhile, have remained constant. Refurbishing one’s home has long been the top reason that this type of loan is pursued, and that remains the case today. Mortgage delays likewise remain the second-most popular reason for pursuing a bridging loan, with that accounting for 19% of loans. Even so, that figure is down by as much as 20% in Q2 of 2018.

The Brexit Effect

As noted above, this may be due in part to concerns over Brexit. It looms large over much of the finance industry. With radical changes possibly in the offing to the status of the UK’s economic relationship with the EU, its access to the Common Market, and its overall standing in the world, consumers are naturally wary of making large financial decisions in such an uncertain market.

Even so, regulated bridging loans remain an attractive option for borrowers. This is due in no small part to the fact that interest rates for this type of loan have dipped of late, sitting around 0.78% to 0.8% at present. What’s more, the short-term nature of this loan remains attractive to many borrowers.

Ultimately, while there is certainly a slowdown occurring at present, regulated bridge loans figure to have a bright future once the dust from Brexit has finally settled.

Ways to Save Money on Online Shopping Every Single Time

Online shopping has gained popularity over the past few years. It does have a lot of benefits like convenience, easily accessible wherever you are located as long as you have an internet connection and you can do it from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas – and this is just to name a few perks.

However, with this ease may also come with some disadvantages. For those people who have no control over their spending habits, it might just be their downfall to go into deeper debt. With just one click, you can keep on adding items to your cart and easily check out.

If you want to be smart about your purchases, save money while shopping online and stay within your budget, here are several ways you can save whenever you go online shopping every single time:

  1. Outsmart the dynamic price trap. Most of the online shoppers are not aware what this is but this one of the tricky strategies used by online retailers to show different prices to different people, depending on their location, demand of the product and even your spending patterns. Have you tried going on one site to check out a price of the item and then the next time you visit the price suddenly went up? This is an example of dynamic pricing. For you to get a less biased pricing, you can go incognito on your browser or you can clean your browsing history and clear cookies on your page.
  2. Use online deals and discount codes. This one of the best ways to not pay full retail price for the item you want to buy. You can also sign up and subscribe to the email list – a lot of site offer discounts exclusively for subscribers. You just might be the first few who can take advantage of this type of promo!
  3. Plan your purchases in turn for the next season. A lot of retailers mark down their prices when they are trying to get rid of old inventory to make room for new ones. For example, outdoor furniture is cheaper around fall, bikinis and swimsuits are affordable during the winter season. You don’t have to always buy the item right away once they are up on the site too – you can just wait it out a bit, put it on your wish list and watch out when the price will drop.
  4. Shop online and pick up the item at the store. If you want to save on shipping fees and you do see that the item you want to purchase is available at a store near you, then you can opt for this instead. Always double check with the item online if your local store has it. Sometimes the item is even on stock so you can pick it up on the same day you order it.
  5. Take advantage of reward programs. Most credit cards nowadays have reward programs every time you use it. There are online retailers who also provide loyalty rewards for regular customers. Look into those and sometimes, you can even combine both rewards to get a bigger discount.

These tips aren’t complicated and quite easy to remember. So on your next online shopping spree, keep these in mind and you can absolutely get good value for your money.

Do you have any other online shopping tips and tricks? Share them in the comments below!

9 Steps for Selling Your Life Insurance Policy for a Life Settlement

When we talk about selling life insurance policy and getting a life settlement, the most challenging part is the process involved in selling the policy and getting it cashed. It seems pretty complicated, however, doing a little bit of research would make it all easy. With that being said, here’s the process of selling your life insurance policy in exchange for cash.


When you plan to go for a life settlement by selling your policy, there are certain conditions and criteria that you need to analyze. This would give you an idea whether or not you are eligible to get a life settlement in exchange for your life insurance policy. First up, find out what is the type of policy you own and whether it qualifies for a life settlement. Next is to make sure that your policy is at least worth $100,000. Besides that, the age of your policy should account to what your state acknowledges. If all these conditions are met, and you are above the age of 65 years, you are good to go.


Once you have figured the criteria and are qualified for a life settlement, the next step is to conduct research. In order to sell your life insurance policy and get instant cash, you need a third party who buys your life insurance policy. The third party that you sell your policy to can either be a life settlement providing company or a life settlement broker. It is suggested to sell your policy to a life settlement company rather than a broker since brokers look for more profit out of the deal.

Now, the role of the research is to help you find the best life settlement company in your region. For this, you can take help of the people who you know and conduct an extensive internet search. Through both, shortlist a few life settlements companies and go for the company that you think is the best.

Information gathering

While the two steps mentioned above are your responsibility, the company or the broker are supposed to take care of this step. The company or the broker would gather information pertaining to your life insurance policy and would also check your medical records. This alone do not to ensure you qualify for a life settlement from their side. These details also govern how much money your life insurance policy is worth. Make sure that the information that you provide to the broker or the life settlements company is secured through a privacy agreement since you don’t want your personal information to reach wrong hands.

Deciding the offer

Once the life settlement provider goes through the information that you give, including the medical documents and the details of your life insurance policy, he would decide if your policy qualifies for a life settlement. Next up, he would make the calculations as to how much cash your life insurance policy is worth. After all the calculations, he would bring an offer to your table.


The life settlement provider would mention the offer and explain to you about it. After the provider explains everything to you, it is now your turn to asses and evaluates if the offer is worth accepting or not. Here, you may negotiate with the provider. After all the negotiation, you are supposed to decide and report it to the provider.

Closing the package

Once you and the life settlement provider decide on the offer, the provider is supposed to bring a closing package to you. The closing package contains the documents related to the life settlement. It is also the responsibility of the life settlement provider to explain all the documents to you. Once he explains it all to you, you and your beneficiary are supposed to sign documents, accepting the offer officially. The provider takes the signed documents and proceeds with the other steps.

Transfer of ownership

After getting the signed documents from you, the life settlement provider sends these documents to your life insurance company, requesting transfer of ownership of the policy formally. The insurance company looks into the documents, signs them, and then hands over the signed documents to an escrow agent. The escrow agent is supposed to keep the documents safely till the process of transferring the ownership is completed.

Acknowledging the transfer of ownership

Once the transfer of ownership is recorded, you, the life settlement provider, and the escrow agent would receive confirmation from your insurance company regarding the same. Upon receiving confirmation, the escrow releases the funds in the form of payment.

Right from researching about life Settlements Company to striking a deal and finally getting cash in your hand, these are the steps that are involved. After all, getting a life settlement by selling your life insurance policy is not as complicated as it looks from the outside.

Sins of the Past: 7 Types of Debt That Bankruptcy Won’t Save You From

For borrowers swimming in debt, filing for bankruptcy is a way of staying afloat. Almost immediately, collection actions end, the constant phone calls subside, and medical bills gently fade away.

However, filing for bankruptcy doesn’t solve everything. It has its limits. Some lawsuits, financial obligations, and loans remain even after you file. Here are 7 types of debt that remain even after you file for bankruptcy.

Back Taxes

If you owe the IRS money in back taxes, filing for bankruptcy won’t get you off the hook. There are certain loopholes, for example, if your taxes are from a return more than 3-years old, you may be able to find a way out, but the vast majority of income tax debts cannot be waivered by filing for bankruptcy.

Student Loans

These days, student loans are a spectre that hangs over borrowers for most of their working lives. Not even filing for bankruptcy can blast that ghost.

All education loans, whether it is from a federal loan, a private lender, or a loan directly from the school or college, cannot be eliminated by a bankruptcy filing.

Secured Debts

Any debts secured by collateral, be it your house, expensive jewellery or other personal item, cannot usually be eliminated by filing for bankruptcy. If you cannot make payment, you have to forfeit the item.

Your mortgage is a secured debt. This means that even if you declare bankruptcy if you can’t make the payments, the lender is legally within their rights to take the property and sell it to recover their loan.

Child Support

Child support and alimony obligations remain even after bankruptcy is filed. If you filed under Chapter 13, these debts will be included in your repayment plan until they are paid off in full.

Court-Ordered Restitution

If you have debts relating to a court-ordered restitution payment, you cannot discharge these. These are incurred because the court deemed you caused a personal injury or financial loss to another person. They must be paid in full.

Government Debts

If you owe money to the government in the form of unpaid fines or penalties, these cannot be eliminated by filing for bankruptcy. This includes both the federal government and the state government.

Any Debts you Forgot to List in Your Bankruptcy Papers

If it isn’t in the papers, it won’t be eliminated. It is always a surprise how many people forget to list all their debts in the bankruptcy filing, only to discover at a later date that they have financial obligations to meet that could have been eliminated.

Don’t let this happen to you. Check and double check every debt listing to ensure you won’t be left with anything you shouldn’t be.

Filing for bankruptcy can significantly ease someone’s financial burden and rapidly improve their financial circumstances. But it is not a magic wand ready to make all your debts disappear. After you emerge from bankruptcy, you will still have debts to pay, albeit most likely significantly less than you had before.

8 Things You Must Know About Medicare

With all the various parts and plans, it’s hard to fully understand Medicare. The good news is that learning just a few basics will help a lot in preparing you for enrollment, expenses, penalties, and regulations. You’ll need to know these key points of Medicare to ensure a smooth transition from your current insurance to your new insurance.

1. You Have to Pay for Medicare

Even though most Medicare beneficiaries receive Part A at $0 per month, that doesn’t mean it’s free. We pay into Medicare via taxes throughout our career. If you have worked the minimum 40 quarters in the United States, then you have paid enough in taxes to get premium-free Part A.

However, you still must pay for Part B regardless of how many years you’ve worked. In 2019, the average American will pay $135.50 a month to have Part B. The Social Security office figures your Part B premium by your taxes that were filed two years prior. If you made more than $85,000 individually or $170,000 jointly, you will pay more for Part B.

In addition to paying monthly premiums, you’ll have to pay cost-sharing expenses as well. Medicare has cost-sharing just like your group health plan does. There are deductibles, copays, and coinsurance that you will be responsible for whenever you use healthcare services.

2. You Have A Designated Initial Enrollment Period

Each Medicare beneficiary has their own initial enrollment period. When you should enroll in Medicare depends on your 65th birthday month. Your initial enrollment period starts three months prior to your personal birthday month and ends three months after. For instance, if you turn 65 in March 2019, your initial enrollment period begins December 2018 and ends in June 2019.

If you don’t have other coverage, then you will want to enroll in at least Part A, Part B, and Part D during this 7-month period to avoid being penalized in the future. While you can enroll anytime throughout your initial enrollment period, it’s best if you enroll before your birthday month.

If you enroll during your birthday month or anytime after, you will have delayed coverage. This could mean going a few months without any insurance coverage.

3. You Can Be Penalized If You Miss Your Initial Enrollment Period

If you fail to enroll in Medicare Part B and Part D when you’re first eligible, you will be assessed late penalties later on when you enroll in them. The penalties are determined by how many months or years you go without coverage.

For example, each year you go without having Part B, 10% of the average monthly Part B premium is tacked on. By the time you finally enroll in Part B, that penalty gets added to your monthly premium and you’ll pay that new amount for the entirety of your enrollment.

Part D’s penalty is permanent as well; however, it’s calculated a bit differently. Every month after your initial enrollment period you go without Part D coverage, 1% of the average Part D monthly premium is added to your penalty total. Currently, the national average Part D monthly premium is around $35.

4. You Might Be Able to Delay Enrolling If You Have Creditable Coverage

If you delayed enrolling in Medicare because you have creditable coverage, you may not have to pay those penalties mentioned above. An example of creditable coverage is a group health plan through your employer.

If you choose to continue active work past 65 and have insurance through your employer, you can delay enrolling in Medicare until you officially retire. However, your employer must have at least 20 employees. If you work for a small employer that has less than 20 employees, Medicare would be your primary coverage, so you would need to enroll in Part A and B and D at 65 to avoid the penalties we mentioned.

Note, COBRA is not considered creditable coverage. If you work past age 65 and then elect COBRA, you must still enroll in Part B within 8 months to avoid the late penalty.

5. The Annual Election Period Is Dedicated to Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans

Many beneficiaries get the Annual Election Period (AEP) confused with their Open Enrollment (OE). The AEP is specifically for Medicare Advantage plans and Part D drug plans only.

The Annual Election Period runs from October 15th until December 7th every year. The changes you make during this period will be effective January 1st of the following year.

You can enroll in either a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D plan. You can change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You’re also able to change from one Part D plan to another. You can even change from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare and a Part D plan, or vice versa. Nonetheless, this is not a period where you can enroll in a Medigap plan without going through underwriting. We will discuss more on that below.

6. Medicare Plans Can Make Changes Each Year

Because carriers can make changes to their plans each year, beneficiaries have the right to withdraw from their plan. The AEP was created to give beneficiaries an out when they are no longer satisfied with their plan.

Every year insurance carriers are required to send out an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) to their clients. This letter will list the changes the carrier plans to make on the plan for the following year. This will help you decide what changes you need to make during the AEP. The letter will arrive in your mailbox usually in September.

7. Open Enrollment Is the Best Time to Enroll In a Medigap Plan

Just like the initial enrollment period, the Medigap Open Enrollment (OE) is dependent on the person and when they enrolled in Medicare. Your Medigap open enrollment technically begins the day of your Part B effective date.

The reason why your OE is the best time to enroll in a Medigap plan is that this is when you can forgo medical underwriting.  You can’t be turned down by the carrier for having a health condition. A Medigap plan is very beneficial because it can help cover and even eliminate your cost-sharing expenses such as deductibles and copays.

Your OE lasts for six months. After your six months is up, you may not have another chance to apply for a Medigap plan without answer health questions. It’s important to note that some states have additional open enrollment times.

8. Doctors That Accept Medicare Have to Accept Your Medigap Plan

Like we said earlier, it’s hard to know everything there is to know about Medicare unless you’re a Medicare expert. This means your doctor’s office probably doesn’t know everything about Medicare.

First, let’s explain why this can be confusing to doctor offices. Each doctor chooses whether he will participate in any Medicare Advantage plans.  The doctor can pick which carriers he wants to contract with if any. Medigap plans, however, don’t have networks.

Thus, if a physician accepts Medicare at all, then he or she are required to accept your Medigap plan no matter which insurance company you bought it from.

If you are unfamiliar with how Medigap plans differ from Medicare Advantage plans, you can learn more here.