Some of you might love your Medicare plan, while others feel stuck with a plan that isn’t right for you. And a few of you might feel uncertain; your plan works okay, but you wonder if there’s a better deal out there. In less than three months, all of you get a chance to investigate your options and make changes during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Here’s what you need to know now.
Research now. Take a look at your medical bills for the year, and determine if your out-of-pocket costs seem reasonable. Make a list of your current medications so that you can check plan formularies (lists of covered drugs) to keep your monthly prescription spending in line with your budget.
You can make a variety of changes, such as:
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
- Move from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare
- Change your Part D (prescription) plan or add one, if you don’t already have Part D
You can change plans as many times as you want. If you enroll in a plan during AEP and then decide it’s not right for you, you aren’t stuck with it. Changes aren’t made permanent for the coverage year until December 7, so you can always change your mind at any time during the enrollment period.
Some of you get a second chance. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan during the Annual Election period and then decide it’s not right for you, you can switch to a different Advantage plan or drop it and return to Original Medicare during the Medicare Open Enrollment from January 1 through March 31. So if you want to try out a Medicare Advantage plan, let’s discuss your options during AEP this October.
Even those who are happy with their plans should investigate their options. You might feel as though your plan works well for you, but you won’t know if there’s an even better deal out there unless you engage in some comparison shopping. Some plans, particularly Medicare Advantage plans, roll a number of extra benefits into the network (such as dental or vision care, prescription plans, or even perks like discounted gym memberships). Call us when AEP begins October 15, and we will help you sort through the different plans available to you.
Again, AEP begins October 15 and runs through December 7, so you have plenty of time. But if you start evaluating your medical expenses and preferences now, you will be ready to select the best plan for your situation this fall.