Annual Medicare Open Enrollment: October 15th through December 7th
“What is the deal with this Open Enrollment?!” Becky yells to her sister Mary who just finished their folks’ 2020 amended return. Finally the checkbook is balanced, bills are paid and the new 1080 is filed. Sigh! But, now it’s Open Enrollment season.
“They already have some ‘advantage plan’ right? So, they’re covered, right??” Becky exhaled.
Well, yeah. But… So, here’s the deal.
Health care needs change every year. So, don’t let open enrollment period pass by without making sure your Medicare coverage fits right. There are often available changes to fit your specific health needs for the upcoming year.
It is important to look over your options during open enrollment. Because plans can change each year. These adjustments can include:
- Out-of-pocket cost
- Covered drug lists (formulary)
- Participating providers
- Included Pharmacies
During this same time every year:
- people on Medicare can review their current Medicare plan or Part D plan and compare it with other plans that are available.
The pharmacy coverage(D) typically has the most fluctuation. It can be a big hit if Dad’s most expensive medication is dropped from his covered drugs list. So, look carefully for a plan that covers it.
Changes made at this time take effect on January 1st of the next year.
You can review your plan options by using the Medicare Plan Finder at Medicare.gov: https://www.medicare.gov/
The Senior Linkage Line is Minnesota’s federally designated State Health Insurance Program (SHIP). https://mn.gov/senior-linkage-line/. It provides comprehensive, unbiased Medicare counseling. Ask for a Medicare Specialist at 1-800-333-2433
Extra Extra, Read All About It
Licensed insurance agents can also shed light on some of the newer offerings. Extra benefits offered in plans can include a variety of features. Such as routine dental care, prescription drug coverage, routine vision care and allowances for prescription eye ware. As well as hearing aids, gym memberships, medical appointment transportation. Some even cover home-delivered meals following hospital stays.
Just be aware that these extra features drive pricing structures. These fluctuate between low/”no” premium vs high co-pay and vice-versa. So seriously, read ALL about it.
Be sure to note one of the more recent and lesser-known benefits available. Selections of over the counter health items that can be shipped at no charge to the residence on a monthly or quarterly basis.