5 Ways to Prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment 2019

yellow sign with open enrollment; medicare open enrollment 2019

Medicare open enrollment 2019 is coming up! Also called the annual election period, this will run from October 15 to December 7. During this time, you can make adjustments to your Medicare plans and make sure you get the most coverage for the best price. To prepare for this period, follow these five steps so you don’t miss an opportunity to change coverage. 

1. Mark the dates on your calendar. 

Even if you don’t plan on making any changes right now, you may change your mind later in the season if you suddenly find out something within your current plan has changed. You don’t want to go to make a change on December 31, only to find out you’ve missed your chance until next year. Again, Medicare open enrollment 2019 runs from October 15 to December 7.

2. Read your Annual Notice of Change. 

The Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) is a large packet that should have arrived at your door by September 30. Don’t let the heft of the package discourage you; it contains important information you’ll need to decide if you want to change plans. The annual notice of change will tell you if your plan has made any changes, like increasing premiums or changes in networks.

3. Create a MyMedicare.gov account. 

If you don’t already have one, go to Medicare.gov and create a MyMedicare account. This will allow you to compare plans side by side so you can decide if another plan is better suited to your healthcare needs. Creating an account will allow you to save plans as well, so you don’t have to start your search over from scratch each time you compare plans.

infographic showing 5 ways to prepare for open enrollment

4. Make a list of medications. 

Now is a good time to check your plan’s formulary (list of covered drugs) to see if all of your prescription drugs will be covered in the coming year. Prescription drugs are often the most expensive part of a patient’s healthcare out-of-pocket costs, so this is an important step. Using your list, you can enter all of your prescription drug information into your MyMedicare account to find the best plan for you.

5. Make sure your doctor and pharmacy are still in network. 

If you decide not to make any changes to your Medicare plans, check with your doctor’s office and pharmacy to confirm they will still be in network heading into 2020. If you have Original Medicare, your coverage should remain the same. However, Medicare Advantage plans have limited networks of providers, so be safe and double check.

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