Turning 65, new to Medicare, or time to renew this is the best time to re-evaluate your plan or sign up for one! During the Medicare Annual Enrollment (AEP) Period,
October 15 to December 7.
It is during this time that Medicare plan beneficiaries can sign up for benefits, re-evaluate coverage, make changes to existing coverage or adjust policies for Original Medicare, supplemental drug coverage or Medicare Advantage.
Include persons ages 65 and older, under 65 and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for a certain amount of time, or under 65 and with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Those who have participated in open enrollment previously know there are a lot of choices when it comes to Medicare. While the most important might be choosing to take charge of your Medicare decisions in the first place, it's also a good idea to make sure the choices you make aren't costing you unnecessarily.
Your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan renews every year on January 1, unless you decide to change it. Automatic renewal may make your life easy, but it might not be the best way to make your Medicare decisions. This is especially true if your health care needs changed in the last year if you are taking more medications, if you wish you had more benefits, such as dental or hearing, or if your finances changed. Plans also may change what they cover from year to year, including what you will pay in deductible, premium, copay or coinsurance amounts. This information will be contained in the Annual Notice of Change, which is discussed next.
Typically delivered to mailboxes by September 30, ANOC letters ensure that plan members have up-to-date plan information before AEP begins. This document explains any changes in your plan benefits and costs for the upcoming year. The changes may affect your health care and your budget, so it's important to know what to look for in the ANOC, as it can help you decide early whether to keep your current plan or alert you that you may want to look for a new one during the AEP
It is easy to focus only on premiums when looking at Medicare costs, but it's a good idea to look at the big picture. Let's take a look of the plan options:
You might count on a friend's word when deciding what new restaurant to try, but a Medicare plan is a personal choice. What works for one person may not fit with the needs for another. You have several plans to choose from, so it's a good idea to look at all your options, keeping your healthcare needs and your budget at the priority. The medicare.gov website suggests considering seven things when choosing a plan:
Several programs offer financial assistance with Medicare premiums and other costs. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance and copayments if you meet certain conditions.
There are four kinds of Medicare Savings Programs:
1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
2. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)
3. Qualifying Individual (QI)
4. Qualified Disabled & Working Individuals (QDWI)
If you qualify for a QMB, SLMB, or QI program, you automatically qualify to get extra help paying for Medicare drug coverage. You may want to look into them, even if you think you might not be eligible.
Not affiliated with the U. S. government or federal Medicare program.
Deborah DeLynn Wilson Insurance Independent Insurance Agent.
We represent many different insurance companies