Are you anticipating your first year to be involved in Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period? You probably already know that Medicare open enrollment begins every year on October 15th. But, did you know that during this time Medicare health and drug plans make changes to costs, coverage, providers, and pharmacies in their networks? Every year during this open enrollment period you should take the time to review your health plan for any changes and your own health condition as well. We would like to provide you with some tips and advice as you prepare for the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.
To begin, everyone on Medicare should receive an “annual notice of change” letter from their Medicare plan during the month of September. In the benefits letter, Medicare explains all the changes coming in the new year, including coverage and costs such as premiums, deductibles, and copays. We highly recommend that you to sit down and take your time reading and reviewing your letter. Need to request a copy? Just click here to visit the Medicare website.
Now, do you need some tips on how to even start evaluating your current plan? We would advise you to begin by looking over your medical expenses in the last six months. In addition, you should make a list of your doctors you see regularly as well as a list of the medications you take. You can see, it is important to review more than just the premiums, you need to see if your Medicare plan is the best fit for you in regard to doctors, medicines and your health. Reviewing your medical care for the last six months, can help you account for changes in your health as well as changes in your plan.
Interested in finding additional health care plans in your area? You can find additional plans in your area by looking at The Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website. The Medicare Plan Finder is an online tool created by the government to help you select and compare plans. All you have to do is enter your zip code and details about your medications and whether you receive them by mail. You can then begin to compare plans available in your area. You can also try the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, which offer free local counseling to enrollees.
We want you to know that in our elder law firm we take special interest in the Medicare program. Medicare can be essential to elder law planning because 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. While you cannot change your income, you can plan for 2023’s premiums.
In addition, you may also want to look at the Medicare plan information by comparing plans online or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or visiting Medicare.gov. For more information and answers to your questions on how to get the best protection you need now, our office is here to help.
We know this article may raise more questions that it answers. We do telephone, computer, and face-to-face appointments. Our face-to-face appointments are held outside in the open air (frequently selected by clients for document signing) and inside our office conference room. We follow all CDC guidelines. Our office procedures adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols and are designed and enhanced by medical review and air quality engineering.