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Prepare Medicare Open Enrollment 5 E-Z Steps For Seniors. Starting October 7th millions of seniors have an incredible opportunity to get better Medicare coverage as well as save significant dollars. Here are 5 steps from the American Association for Medicare Supplement Insurance.
For millions of seniors, this is an opportunity to join, switch, or drop Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D drug plans.
Open Enrollment does not apply to Medicare Supplement (Medigap) plans. But most people with Medigap DO have a stand alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. This is your chance to get better coverage for the coming year.
The choices you make during Open Enrollment can impact your healthcare. It can save you hundreds (maybe even thousands) of dollars in the coming year.
December 7, 2023 is the last day to act. And, waiting until the end of Medicare Open Enrollment can be a costly mistake. So let’s get started.
If you have Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) coverage you will receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) in the mail.
You will also receive a mailed ANOC if you have stand alone Medicare prescription drug plan coverage (Medicare Part D).
The ANOC summarizes any and all changes in your plan’s cost and coverage for the coming year.
If you DO NOT RECEIVE the annual notice in the mail, call your plan provider. Don’t wait until the last minute.
Here are things to look for:
This is probably the most important step. And too few people actually take the 10 minutes it takes to think about it.
As we get older, some health care conditions require immediate treatment. Many develop slowly. It’s not something you treat immediately. But you know it’s going to need to be addressed.
Chances are your health status has changed over the past 12 month. Maybe you are taking new prescription drugs. Or, you have a new condition that may soon require treatment. You think you may soon want to or need to see a specialist.
Take a pad and pen. Write them all down. You might be surprised at what you’ve forgotten about over the past 12 month.
Seniors with Medicare Advantage plans:
Are the providers, specialists and services you need included?
Can you go out-of-network to get medical opinions and care? If yes, what’s covered and what will you need to pay?
What costs might you face if you need hospital care? Are there any limits for 2024? What happens if you need multiple hospital stays?
Will the plan cover the prescription drugs you expect to take next year?
Most plans do cover prescription drugs (MAPD plans). It’s important to know what prescriptions are generally covered by an MAPD plan. And at what tier? Determine your out-of-pocket costs. Read how to use your plan at the pharmacy.
Seniors with Medicare Prescription Drug plans:
Does your current plan cover all the drugs you now take?
Will the tier change? How about costs? Will you pay more starting January 1st.
Do you think your doctor will prescribe any new drugs. It can pay to Email their office before the end of Open Enrollment.
Even if you have been happy with your coverage, a quick comparison can take you less than 10 minutes.
Seniors with Medicare Advantage (Part C) coverage today benefit from many different added benefits. These can include dental and vision benefits.
For many these are now very important benefits. Especially the dental. But, those ‘free’ included dental benefits can vary significantly from plan to plan. Some plans cover just routine basic care. Others will cover costly care such as implants.
There is no resource that compares the various added benefits.
Read more about comparing Medicare Advantage plan dental benefits.
Talk to a local Medicare dental insurance agent who should be able to compare plans available in your area.
Medicare is a national program. But Medicare plan options are local. Pick a plan in your area that’s best for you. Connect with at least one local Medicare agent.
Read more about how to find a Medicare agent. See the questions to ask them.
Medicare uses a Star Rating System to measure how well Medicare Advantage and Part D plans perform.
The government scores plans based on key factors, including quality of care and customer service.
Ratings range from one to five stars, with five being the highest . One is the lowest.
The Star Rating is an important way to see how other seniors rate the plan. Do you want a low-rated plan? Maybe or maybe not. It is really important not to overlook this when shopping around for coverage.
Have a Medicare Advantage plan?
You can change your plan during the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP).
MA OEP takes place each year from January 1 through March 31. During this time, you can switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another. Or switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare with or without a Part D drug plan coverage.
Changes take effect on the first of the month following the month you enroll.
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