As we roll into Fall, we wanted to send along a reminder that the Medicare annual open enrollment period begins October 15th and ends December 7th. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can change their Advantage plan or Part D prescription drug plans for the next calendar year.
Medicare Advantage Plans: Medicare Advantage Plans replace Original Medicare with HMO or PPO like plans, benefits and premiums which can change year to year.
Before open enrollment begins, Advantage policy holders receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) from their provider. Those documents should be reviewed carefully for changes to coverage, costs, or service area. Policy holders should also check to see if their preferred doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other providers are still in their plan. During Open Enrollment, beneficiaries may change from Original Medicare (Parts A and B) to a Medicare Advantage plan or vice versa, or switch to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
Part D Plans: The company that provides a beneficiary’s current drug coverage will also send an ANOC, so beneficiaries can ensure all their medications are still covered by the plan. During Open Enrollment, beneficiaries may switch to a different Part D plan or enroll in Part D. If a beneficiary did not enroll in Part D during their general open enrollment period, a late enrollment fee may apply.
Before Open Enrollment begins, insurers will provide an Evidence of Coverage (EOC), a comprehensive document explaining how the plan works and describing benefits, cost-sharing expenses and what the plan pays. It’s wise to compare other plans each year to see if another plan has become a better fit. The Medicare Plan Finder is a convenient tool to use.
Health care decisions can be complicated. If you need help evaluating your options or determining how health care costs may impact your retirement, please reach out, we’re happy to discuss.
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