Medicare—Which Plan is Right for you?
Medicare’s open enrollment season is upon us. That means between October 15 and December 7, those age 65 and over can make changes to their Medicare Advantage plan and prescription drug coverage.
During this time, you can change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan or vice versa or switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan. You can also join a Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug plan for the first time or drop your drug coverage completely.
Even if you’re satisfied with your current plan, open enrollment presents a great opportunity to make sure you’re getting the most out of Medicare. Every year you should compare your current plan to other plans in your area in case another plan offers better health and/or drug coverage at more affordable prices.
The coverage provided by insurance companies often changes each year and could result in paying more out-of-pocket on healthcare expenses throughout the year. Here are some tips to help you get started.
- Ask yourself some important questions. Have your needs changed? Is your current coverage adequate? Will the cost of your current plan be going up? Are there comparable, lower-cost plans available?
- Review the annual notice of change from your current plan You should receive this in September.
- If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, make sure your doctor is still accepting your particular plan next year. If your doctor is out of network, you will have to choose a new plan or pay higher out-of-pocket
- Carefully review if your plan covers your prescription drugs and what those copayments and coinsurances costs
- If you switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare, you will want to join a stand-alone Part D plan to get Medicare drug
- Compare plans using gov’s Medicare Plan Finder.
- Get one-on-one assistance from the State Health Insurance Assistance
- Call the Medicare Rights Center at 333.4114 for free counseling.
- Remember all changes to your Medicare plan will take effect on January 1 of the next year.
Medicare decisions can be complicated. If you have any questions about open enrollment, or if you’d like to discuss how healthcare costs factor into your overall financial plan, it’s a good idea to talk to your financial advisor. We also recommend contacting an experienced, independent agent who can search the market to find the best solutions for your situation.
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