With the Medicare Open Enrollment Period right around the corner it’s time to start comparing your options so you can save yourself money. Navigating the Medicare system can be complicated. Listed below is an essential guide of what you’ll need to know if you are considering changing your current Medicare plan.
What is it?
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is when you can change your current Medicare coverage to something that better suits your needs. Health and drug plans can make changes throughout the year so it’s important to review your plan and make sure that it still fits your current needs.
It is important to review the papers that your current plans send you in the mail to be informed of the changes they have made. The “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and the “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) are two types of documents that would be sent to you if your coverage was changing.
When is it?
Open Enrollment runs from October 15, 2015 through December 7, 2015. Your new coverage would begin January 1, 2016 as well as new costs and benefit changes. Information on next year’s plans will be posted October 1, 2015 so you can start planning early.
If you choose to disenroll from your current Medicare Advantage plan and join Original Medicare you can do so from January 1, 2016 through February 14, 2016.
Why is it important?
Making sure you have the right coverage is important if you want to avoid paying penalties. For instance, not having creditable prescription drug coverage (known as Part D in Medicare), could cost you a monthly fine for as long as you have Medicare coverage.
Getting the best plan for you and your family can save you money on a monthly basis. Waiting until the last minute and getting stuck in a plan that isn’t perfect for you is something you can’t change until the next year’s open enrollment period. According to a study done by PlanPrescriber.com, 42 percent of people wait until the last nine days to apply to change plans. Call your agent early and plan ahead so that you have time to decide what your best options are.
Even if you are satisfied with your plan, ask your agent if there are new plans that could save you money. Contact our office with questions you might have or to see if another plan is better for you and your family.