Medicare Annual Election is Open: What to Do Right Now
It’s that time of year again! The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) runs from October 15th to December 7th each year, allowing beneficiaries to make alterations to their Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). These steps will guide you in identifying an appropriate Medicare plan during this crucial period.
Step 1: Evaluate Your Current Coverage
Begin by reviewing your current Medicare coverage, including your Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans. Understand the coverage, costs, and any changes that might occur in the upcoming year, such as premium adjustments, changes in benefits, or alterations in the provider network.
Step 2: Assess Your Healthcare Needs
Consider your healthcare needs for the coming year. Assess any changes in your health condition, prescriptions, or anticipated medical treatments. Think about what services and medications you might need and ensure the plan you choose adequately covers those needs.
Step 3: Compare Medicare Plans
Research and compare available Medicare plans in your area. Utilize resources like the Medicare Plan Finder tool on the Medicare website or consult with a licensed insurance agent specializing in Medicare. Assess the different plan options based on premiums, deductibles, copayments, network coverage, and included benefits.
Step 4: Consider Additional Benefits
Many Medicare Advantage plans offer additional benefits like dental, vision, hearing coverage, and gym memberships. Consider if these added benefits align with your health and lifestyle needs. These extras can make a significant difference in your overall healthcare experience.
Step 5: Review Prescription Drug Coverage
If you’re considering a Medicare Advantage plan, check its drug formulary to ensure your regular medications are covered at a reasonable cost. Look for any restrictions or requirements related to your prescriptions and determine if your preferred pharmacies are in the plan’s network. Because plan formularies (the list of covered drugs) can change from one year to the next, always remember to review this part of your Part C or Part D plan.
Step 6: Seek Expert Advice
Consult with a Medicare specialist or insurance agent who can provide insights into different plans and help you navigate the complexities of Medicare. They can guide you in selecting a plan that best suits your needs and budget.
Step 7: Make Informed Decisions
Check with your preferred medical providers to be certain they plan to remain in your network (if you’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage), or review coverage details with your insurance broker. Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information and compared various plans, make an informed decision based on your healthcare needs, budget, and preferences. Enroll in the plan that offers the most comprehensive coverage and aligns with your overall health and wellness goals.
Step 8: Enroll During the AEP
Ensure you enroll or make changes to your Medicare plan during the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) between October 15th and December 7th. This is the only time you can make changes without a special circumstance.
By carefully evaluating your options during the Medicare Annual Election Period, you can identify an appropriate Medicare plan that meets your healthcare needs, provides comprehensive coverage, and sets you on a path to a healthy and worry-free future. Take advantage of this annual opportunity to secure the best healthcare plan for the upcoming year. And you don’t have to complete these steps alone! Assistance is always free for Medicare beneficiaries, so give us a call to start this process. We can answer your questions and help you narrow down your options, so that you can enroll in the Medicare plan or plans that are appropriate for you.
Remember, AEP is only open until December 7. Big decisions take time, so let’s get started on these steps now.