An annual physical is a must for many people. We take our cars in for regular maintenance to avoid problems down the road. And it’s only natural to look over financial accounts and tweak our plans periodically. So, why should your Medicare plan be any different? Let’s look at why you should review your plan during Medicare Open Enrollment, which runs from October 15 through December 7.
#1. Medicare Open Enrollment is the only time during the year that you can change your plan.
Like most insurers, Medicare limits the time people can enroll in a new plan or change their current plan. There are a few exceptions. However, most Medicare beneficiaries should use this time to make sure their plan still meets their needs.
#2. Plans and premiums change from year to year.
You might receive notice of the changes, but it can be easy to overlook them. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, you may find additional companies competing for your business. Also, discount programs may be added or removed. Failing to notice your plan changed could lead to unpleasant surprises next time you try to meet with your doctor.
#3. You can make sure your doctors and prescriptions are still covered.
Every year, doctors are added and removed from Medicare’s list of providers. Coverage for prescriptions may change also. Reviewing your plan during Medicare open enrollment means you will know whether to find a new doctor or look for alternatives to your current medications.
#4. You can enroll in Medicare Parts you have not used before during Medicare Open Enrollment.
Medicare coverage is split into different parts:
- Part A (Hospital Insurance)
- Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
- Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage)
Medicare also offers Medicare Advantage coverage, which is sometimes called Part C.
In the space of a year, your medical care needs might have changed. Maybe you only needed Part A last year but would like to add Part D. The time to do this is during Medicare Open Enrollment.
#5. You might save money on your premiums.
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)
- Qualifying Individual (QI)
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI)
You won’t know whether you qualify unless you review your plan.
Medicare Beneficiaries with Questions Can Talk to an Elder Law Attorney.
Attorney Robert Slutsky was one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to focus on elder law issues, including Medicaid and Medicare. He’s helped countless people find solutions that work for their individual situations.
For a listing of skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities please check out our Chester County PA Elder Law Directory and Senior Guide online at: