Medicare’s Open Enrollment starts on October 15 and continues until December 7. Like thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, you’re probably planning to skip this year’s opportunity to make changes to your Medicare benefits.
Medicare is not a set it and forget it plan.
By skipping this year’s Open Enrollment period, you could be forgoing hundreds of dollars of savings. Prior to Medicare’s major changes in 2006, Medicare was a set it and forget it program. You enrolled once you became eligible and used the benefits as is until you died. Since introducing Part D plans in 2006 and then more Part C plans over the years, Medicare has increasingly required more monitoring and adjusting by its beneficiaries in order to ensure that they’re getting the right benefits.
At least shop for a new Medicare prescription plan.
Part D plans change every year. They adjust their premiums, formulary list, and preferred pharmacies. Also, new plans are introduced every year. Even though many don’t take advantage of it, you may be able to reduce your pharmacy costs by getting a new prescription plan.
Use Medicare’s Plan Finder tool to compare plans based on the drugs you need, the pharmacy you visit, and your drug costs. Type in your zip code, medicines and dosages, and you’ll see the total costs—premiums plus cost sharing—for your drugs under each plan available to you. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE to find out which plans are in your area.
You may even take a peek at your Medicare Advantage Plan.
If you’re one of the 34% of Medicare beneficiaries who have signed up for a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may find better coverage by shopping around. The Medicare Advantage Plans can change premiums, benefits, and costs each year. You should receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and/or Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from your plan. Review these notices for any changes, and then evaluate your options.
Changing your Medicare benefits can save you money. Shopping for a new plan can be inconvenient and intimidating, but it may be worth it.
Hurley Elder Care Law takes a comprehensive approach to advising our clients. Using our team of experienced professionals, we assess the financial, legal, and care needs of each of our clients—Medicare benefits are just one small part of that. To find out more about Hurley Elder Care Law’s services, please call our office at (404) 843-0121.
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