Medicare Open Enrollment…What you need to know
Get ready to be overwhelmed by the advertising blitz that comes with the Medicare Open Enrollment beginning October 15th. This will come in the form of commercials, and junk mail from insurance companies all touting that their Medicare Advantage plans are the best. How will you know which plan is best for you?
Here are some tips to make sure you will find the best plan that will offer you the most value:
1. What are the changes to my current plan? Many companies have plan changes every year. Changes may consist of premiums (cost of the plan), co-pays and deductibles, in-network providers and most importantly, drug formulary changes. You will be mailed details about these changes from your current Medicare Advantage (MAPD) insurance company. You may want to visit www.medicare.gov to see how any changes in the drug formulary will affect your cost. Use their plan finder to compare plans and their drug costs. Better yet, if you have an agent, they will do all this for you at no charge! Even if you have a Medicare Supplement plan with a separate Part D prescription plan, you should review the available drug plans available.
2. Is your Doctor in-network? You should look at your plans website and look up your current providers to be sure they will continue to be in-network for the next year. If you travel, you may want to stay with a PPO or POS plan. This will allow you to see in-network doctors nationwide and without needing to get referrals to specialists.
3. How long do I have to make changes? The 2018 Medicare Advantage open enrollment goes from October 15, 2017 to December 7, 2017. During this time you can change plans or begin a new plan. For example, if you have a Medicare Supplement plan and want to change to a Medicare Advantage plan, this would be the time to do it. So let’s say you have a Medicare Supplement plan along with the Part D prescription plan and you want to change to a Medicare Advantage plan with Prescription coverage (MAPD). Once you apply for the new MAPD plan, this will automatically disenroll you from your Part D prescription plan. However, you will need to contact your Medicare Supplement company to cancel that policy (is not automatic). But let’s say you currently have a MAPD plan and want to change to a Medicare Supplement plan and add a Part D plan. Once you apply for the Part D plan, this will automatically disenroll you from the MAPD plan. If you work with an agent, they will be able to help you determine which plan is best for you.
If you have specific questions or you would like to know how any plan changes effect you, please contact me. Agents do not charge any fees for helping you do the research so why not contact an agent to help!