Did you know that Medicare open enrollment is upon us? With Medicare open enrollment time, there may be important things seniors need to keep in mind. Here are three things seniors should know:
- You must have enrolled in Medicare when you were first eligible to participate in open enrollment. This means that you (1) were automatically enrolled in Medicare because you were already receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits and you turned 65 or (2) actively enrolled yourself in the Medicare program within the seven-month enrollment period surrounding your 65th birthday. If you did not enroll in Medicare when you were first eligible, you cannot participate in open enrollment and instead you can enroll during the Medicare General Enrollment Period, which typically runs from January 1 to March 31.
- Your needs may have changed and/or your plan may have changed. Make sure you thoughtfully reevaluate your Medicare plan every year during this time. Consider whether your personal or health care needs have changed. Perhaps you need better prescription drug coverage because of a new health condition or perhaps you can no longer afford your current plan because prices have risen and you need a more cost-effective option. When evaluating your plan, you should also confirm that your current doctor and other medical providers, your hospital, and your pharmacy are still in your network. Failing to confirm this may cause you to have to switch providers or pay more out of pocket if it is too late to switch your plan.
- Beware of scams. Unfortunately, there are plenty of scam artists who target senior citizens during this time. Please remember that Medicare will not call you. They will communicate changes to you in writing. Still, to avoid being taken advantage of by a Medicare scam, you should always confirm any information about your plan or open enrollment through medicare.gov.
For more information about Medicare and this time period, please reach out to our office to schedule an appointment.