4 Things to Do Now for Medicare Open Enrollment

by Jeff Oetting / 21 October 2016 / No Comments

For all who may have Medicare Advantage and/or Prescription Drug Plan, open enrollment starts October 15th, and runs through December 7th. This is the time many can make changes to their plan. However, just because you may be satisfied with your current plan, doesn’t mean it’ll hurt you to find a plan that’s more cost efficient and better for your health.

Most likely you will have to wait until the next Medicare open enrollment if you miss the deadline. If you or someone close to you have Medicare, here are 4 things we advise you to do immediately!

 

Review Your Plan Notice

Make sure that you’re aware of any changes on your Medicare plan for next year. You should be on the lookout for your “Annual Notice of Change” letter regarding these issues. It’s ideal that you make sure the drugs that you require are still covered on your current plan and your doctors are still in network.

 

Think About Your Priorities

Your health needs can change every year. The same goes for your Medicare Advantage and drug plans. You should think about your health needs and determine if your plan still applies to you. Is there a different plan that offers them at a lower price? Do you have any new medication that your plan doesn’t cover?

 

Check the Ratings of Your Plan

On the Medicare Plan Finder website, you will see up to date ratings on Medicare Advantage plans, and prescription drug plans. The ratings are from 1-5. 1 being poor, and 5 being excellent. You can utilize it to compare the quality of the plans being offered. Of course, every experience and situation is different for everyone, but it never hurts to see what other individuals experience has been like.

 

Shop for the Right Plans

If you are looking for plans offered in your area, you can use Medicare’s’ plan finder tool starting in October. Even if you already have a plan, a new plan may cost less, cover more drugs, and offer you more flexibility as to what providers you can go to.

By all means, if your current coverage still meets all of your requirements, then you’re safe to stick with it. But it never hurts to compare.

During this period, you can move to a Medicare Advantage plan, or stay in your current Medicare plan. And, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch back to the traditional Medicare and also enroll in a Medicare drug coverage plan.

 

Wrapping it All Up

Medicare open enrollment can be a very important time in most individuals lives. With that being said, we urge you to take the time to go over your plan and make sure it fits your needs. There’s nothing worse than being stuck in a plan that doesn’t offer you the coverage you need, or paying more than you should for a plan.

 

If you would like one of our specialists to go over your current plan, or assist you in the search for finding a cheaper plan that also fits your needs, feel free to give our office a call at 217-345-7063.

 

Also, feel free to check out our page dedicated solely to Medicare open enrollment, along with other plans for seniors.

Senior Solutions

About the author:

Jeff Oetting, President of Bob Oetting & Associates has been helping families plan for their futures for the past 23 years. Jeff holds an MBA from Eastern Illinois University. In addition to working with his clients to help develop insurance strategies tailored to individuals and families, Jeff is also an instructor in the College of Business at Eastern Illinois University. He is a Certified Insurance Counselor and Certified Risk Manager.

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