Tips to Prepare Yourself for the Upcoming Medicare Annual Election Period
Do you receive your insurance through Original Medicare and would like to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan? There are only certain enrollment periods known as the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) or the Medicare Enrollment where you are allowed to do so.
The period gives you a chance to reevaluate and pick up or switch Medicare Advantage plans as well as make changes to your Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan. However, if you are comfortable and already satisfied with your current plan, there is no need to prepare for AEP, although if you ask me, I’d say that as an insurance advisor in Troy, Michigan from American Insurance Advisors with over 16 years of experience, it is still a good idea to know as much as you can about the election period in case you need to switch down the road.
The annual Medicare open enrollment for 2020 has ended but you can still apply for coverage changes on October 15, 2020, to December 7, 2020, for next year’s enrolment period. Here are some of the ways you can prepare for this:
- Check your Annual Notice of Change letter and review accordingly
It may be that your plan offers significant changes for the next year so it might not be a good idea to switch to a new plan. You may be better off buying life insurance instead.
- Make a list of your priorities
Expect your foray to any insurance plan in Michigan to be complicated business considering how many providers there are in the state. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, take the time to reflect on your priorities when you first shopped for your insurance—did anything change? Listing down the things you like about your current coverage and what you wished were different can save you time and can let you narrow down your options easily.
Some of the factors we suggest you should make sure to look into include:
- Networks – Can your provider cover your travel plans? Do they carry your preferred healthcare provider and/or pharmacy?
- Cost – What are your deductibles and co-pays? What is the maximum amount you have to shell out in case you get hospitalized?
- Benefits – Can you readily get the benefits you require or do you need authorizations and/or referrals first?
- Evaluate your options
Now that you have a clear idea of what you want and don’t want in your coverage, the next step is to refer to your options and eliminate accordingly.
- Don’t wait until the last minute
The very purpose of your preparation is to avoid a situation where you will be forced to choose a plan just to check it off your list. Also, the annual open enrollment is one of Medicare’s busiest seasons so you can almost always be sure that there will be waiting times if you do apply.