Planning to enroll in a Medicare health plan, or do you already have one?
Then you definitely need to know what Medicare open enrollment is.
If you follow our blog regularly, you may have read about Medicare open enrollment. Today we will go more into the details and explain why it is so important.
What Is Medicare Open Enrollment?
Every year people covered by Medicare can make changes in their plans. These changes can help to improve coverage and save money.
However, people covered by Medicare can’t make these changes whenever they want.
The Medicare open enrollment period is from October 15 to December 7 every year. This means now is the right time to revise your coverage plan for 2019.
Until December 7, you can make changes. After this date, no more modifications are allowed.
The effects won’t be immediate, but start from January 1 and last all of 2019.
Why Do Seniors Need to Make Adjustments to Their Medicare Coverage Plan?
It is likely that your health condition will change over the years.
Also, costs may increase, and the pharmacies that are in-network may change.
The same plan that covers everything you need this year may not cover the same things next year. Thus it is important to revise your coverage plan. This way you will avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Be especially careful if you have a Medicare part D drug plan.
Keep in mind that changing to a different plan doesn’t always lead to a lower premium. The costs could rise depending on your health condition. However, in most cases, you should be able to change to a different plan without increasing the premium.
What You Need to Know
First, you need to check whether the premium is increasing. If it will cost too much, try to find a more-or-less similar plan that doesn’t cost a lot.
Apart from the premiums, make sure to know whether co-pays and deductibles are increasing.
The most important thing you need to know is whether the medication you need is covered by the plan. Go step by step and spend as much time as you need in reviewing your medication list. See if the medications you use are covered. The medications that are not covered may cost a fortune.
Next, you need to know whether the pharmacy where you usually buy medications is in the network.
With a Medicare Advantage Plan, doctors and hospitals are also covered. Check carefully if they are still going to be in the plan next year.
Find our more in the video below.
Need Help with Medicare Open Enrollment?
Everything you’ve read so far may be overwhelming. It is too much information, and you need to check a zillion things.
Luckily, there are sources that will help you revise your Medicare coverage plan.
Go to the Medicare website and search for the plan finder. There you will find an online form. By filling in the necessary data (location, medications, current plan, etc.) the script will show you what plans are available for you.
The second option is to call the Medicare office and ask them all the questions you want to know. It would be good to prepare the list of questions in advance, so you don’t miss anything.
Contacting a counselor at the state health insurance assistance program is also a good idea.
From the day this article is published, you will still have a lot of time before the Medicare open enrollment period ends. Think carefully and choose the plan that best fits your needs.
More about Medicare read here.
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