On October 15, Medicare began their annual Open Enrollment period. During this time, you can review your Medicare plan and make any necessary changes. But because Medicare can be a complicated system of health insurance options, this process can be overwhelming for many people who end up doing nothing at all.
Don’t miss your opportunity to maximize your health insurance benefits! Read our answers to common questions below, and remember you can always call our office if you have questions about Medicare Open Enrollment.
I already have Medicare benefits. Do I need to do anything during Open Enrollment? Like most seniors, you enrolled in Medicare when you turned 65. But there is more than one Medicare plan, and administrators sometimes make changes to the plans. During Open Enrollment, you can review your current plan and review any upcoming changes. Your health care needs may also have changed over time, and you might find that a different Medicare plan would better benefit you.
How do I choose a Medicare plan? Gather your financial records for the past year, and review your health care expenditures. (Tip: This step will be easier in future years if you always use a particular credit or debit card to pay for your health care bills) Are you paying more than you expected for co-pays or prescription drugs?
While you’re assessing your past health care expenses, think about your future needs as well. Talk to your doctor about whether you might need to change medications or undergo expensive procedures in the coming year.
After assessing past and future health care expenses, compare your current Medicare plan to the benefits offered by other plans. You might find that a different plan better suits your needs, and you could pay less in out-of-pocket health care costs next year.
What kind of changes can I make during Open Enrollment? If you decide that your current Medicare plan does not meet your needs, you can:
- change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
- change from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare
- change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan
- add or drop a Medicare Part D (prescription) plan
- change to a different Medicare Part D plan
How can I get help with the Open Enrollment process? Check the Medicare website, at www.Medicare.gov for more information on your health care plans. Also, remember that Medicare might mail you a notice about changes to your current plan, so watch your mailbox. Talk to your doctor about the state of your health and whether your current medications are working well for you. And, as always, feel free to call us at 1-800-564-4476 with any questions about Medicare plans.