Every year, Medicare open enrollment begins on October 15th and runs until December 7th. During this time, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, a Part D prescription coverage plan, switch to original Medicare from Medicare Advantage and make other changes to your coverage.
Since Medicare open enrollment only occurs once a year, with changes to your plan going into affect on January 1st of the next year, you should prepare in advance if you plan on making changes to your healthcare coverage. Here is what you need to do to prepare for Medicare open enrollment on October 15th:
Review Annual Plan Changes
Are you currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D? Each year, you will receive a notice that outlines any changes in the plan’s annual costs and network coverage. This may be called the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) or Evidence of Coverage (EOC). Plan changes will help you determine if you need to switch plans. For example, if your Medicare Advantage plan no longer covers your preferred physician, you may want to shop around for new options.
Assess Your Current Healthcare Needs
Your health status could change rapidly from year to year. In the past year, if you’ve developed any conditions or diseases that warrant the need for specialist coverage or expensive drug treatments not covered by your current plan, it’s time reassess your needs and ensure they line up with your plan. You want to make sure you are going to have access to the care you need at an affordable price.
Even if your current plan is meeting all of your needs, it could be beneficial to review your options in the healthcare marketplace. You may be able to find the same or similar coverage at a much lower price as plans and prices are constantly changing from year to year.
Shop for Affordable Coverage
Don’t be fooled by low or non-existent plan premiums – this isn’t the only cost you must consider when signing up for one coverage option. You also need to research deductibles, co-pays and any other cost sharing responsibilities before you can decide if one plan is more affordable than another.
Don’t Search Alone
Medicare open enrollment doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. You’re making decisions that will directly affect your quality of life, but speaking with insurance specialists who are fully informed on all plan details will take some of the pressure off of you. My Senior Health Plan is there when you have questions about a plan. You’ll get personalized assistance with aligning your healthcare needs with the best coverage option for your budget. Call today for a free consultation.