Can you believe that it is already time for Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period? It begins October 15, 2022. Remember that each year Medicare health and drug plans may make changes. These changes can range from out of pocket costs and network coverage to providers and pharmacies within their networks. With that said, there is a lot for a Medicare beneficiary to review.
In California, we recommend that all seniors look every year at their Medicare health plans. There may be changes to your Medicare plan coverage and also to your own health condition. So the annual open enrollment period will allow you to make any changes you need. We would like to share some open enrollment tips that you can use to be sure you have the Medicare coverage that best meets your needs.
1. Always review your Annual Notice of Change letter. Each year all Medicare beneficiaries are sent an “annual notice of change” from your Medicare plan. You should have received it no later than September. In this benefits letter, Medicare explains all the changes coming in the new year. Included in this benefits letter is an overview of changes including coverage and costs, premiums, deductibles, and copays.
2. Be sure to sign up for Medicare. Have you signed up for Medicare? Are you aware that first time beneficiaries do not have to wait for the annual enrollment period? As a first time beneficiary be sure to review the benefits that are available. Visit the Medicare website now if you are ready to learn and enroll.
3. Do you need to switch plans? Are you wondering if there are any additional plans available in your area? We recommend that you look at The Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website. By using this online tool from the government you can select and compare plans. You begin by entering your zip code, details about your medications and whether you receive them by mail and then you can compare plans available in your area.
4. As a California senior have your health care needs changed? It is definitely challenging when you think about switching to a new plan. We recommend that you look at your medical expenses over the last six months to get an accurate picture of any changes in your health. In addition, you can also see any changes in your plan and whether your current Medicare plan is the best fit for you.
5. Is there a less expensive option for you? Did you know that premiums for some parts of Medicare are based on your modified adjusted gross income (or MAGI) from two years ago? MAGI also adds in capital gains, Social Security, and required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans. We know you cannot change your income, but you can plan for 2022’s premiums.
For more information, we encourage you to call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit Medicare.gov.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. Our office is here for you and your loved ones. Please call us to schedule a meeting time.