Getting Ready For Medicare’s Annual Enrollment
Have you felt satisfied with your Medicare plan this year? Or do you feel that your coverage is lacking, or your out-of-pocket costs are too high? You do have the option to switch plans if you’re not happy with your current one. Each year, Medicare operates an Annual Election Period from October 15 to December 7, during which you can drop your current plan and choose a new one. Here’s what you need to know.
Anyone can change their plan. Whether you’re enrolled in Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan, you can make any of these changes during the Annual Election Period:
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to Original Medicare
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
- Change from one Advantage plan to another
- Choose a different Part D plan
- Enroll in Part D, if you haven’t before
Pay attention to certain variables within different plans. There’s no single plan that works best for everyone, and that’s why Medicare makes so many different options available. But in general, you should pay close attention to:
- Out of pocket costs such as premiums, copayments, and deductibles
- Coverage area, and facilities or doctors that are included in the plan’s network (for Medicare Advantage plans)
- The plan’s formulary, or list of covered prescription drugs (for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans)
- The latest news on Medicare regulatsions, such as caps on the cost of prescriptions and covered products like insulin
It’s not your last chance. If you choose a new plan and then change your mind about it during the Annual Election Period window, you can still change to a different plan before December 7. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan and decide it’s not right for you, the Medicare Open Enrollment window from January 1 to March 31 will allow you to switch to a different Advantage plan, or return to Original Medicare if you prefer.
You’re entitled to free help. Insurance brokers don’t charge a fee to assist you in comparing plans. So if you have questions about Medicare’s Annual Election Period, give us a call. We can help you determine the options that work best for you, so that you’re ready for the enrollment period when it begins.