Mark your calendars! October 15th through December 7th is open enrollment time for Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription coverage. Have you planned yet? Do you know what changes your healthcare providers have made recently? Open enrollment is about taking the time to assess your healthcare needs. Your Medicare Advantage Plan is unique to you.
Medicare is personal
“Many of us at work have a personnel department that curates the plan options, so you have a menu of two to three different things,” said Andrew Shea, senior vice president of consumer marketing at eHealth.
“If you go into the world of Medicare, now you’re the personnel department and here are 700 unique combinations of benefits,” added Shea.
Medicare Open Enrollment FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions that might help you plan for your enrollment or re-enrollment.
Doesn’t my re-enrollment happen automatically every year?
Yes, BUT doctors and network providers change the way they do things all of the time. Especially since COVID-19 and with the upcoming Presidential election, changes have already happened and more are to come. Don’t miss healthcare changes and pay more than you should!
Be on the lookout: Every September, Medicare plans send out an “annual notice of change” to beneficiaries to keep them in the loop and prepare them for the upcoming enrollment season. This important information will spell out changes in coverage, costs and service effective next year.
What kind of changes should I consider during open enrollment?
If you have a Medicare plan already, changes you can make include swapping from original Medicare (Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical coverage) to a private Medicare Advantage plan (Part C). You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, and join a Part D prescription drug plan.
How do I know what plan is best for me?
After you review your premium options, you should compile your medical expenses from the last 6 months to a year. Make a list of the doctors you see regularly, along with the medications you take.
As you age, your health conditions change too. Don’t assume that you can just repeat the current year’s coverage. Be sure you account for personal health areas that are fluctuating or weakening, as you might need more medical assistance.
Does Medicare planning relate to retirement planning?
Medicare is essential to retirement planning. Working with your financial advisor can help you manage your premium costs.
The premiums you’ll be paying in 2021 are going to be based on 2019′s income tax return. Though you cannot modify or increase your 2019 income, you still have time to plan for 2022′s premium expenses, by growing your 2020 income.
Talk to a financial advisor to see what you can do to manage your income for this year to increase your retirement benefits. It can help you cut Medicare costs in the future.