Things to Know About the Upcoming Medicare Open Enrollment
In each year, your Medicare policy’s price, coverage, and in-network providers keep changing. For this reason, you should review your plan’s Annual Notice of Change.
If you find out that you need to change your current policy, you have the freedom to make the changes during the Open Enrollment Period, which starts from October 15 to December 7 of each year.
Below, we have reviewed the most important things that you should know about the 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment dates. The information will help you make informed decisions regarding your health coverage.
The Fall Open Enrollment Period is Different from the Health Insurance Marketplaces’ Open Enrollment Period
Ideally, the Fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period is distinct from the Annual Open Enrollment Period offered by the Health Insurance Marketplaces. The significant difference between the two types is that the Health Insurance Marketplaces’ Open Enrollment Period is meant for uninsured and under insured citizens.
On the other hand, the Medicare Open Enrollment Period is for people who are already enrolled in Medicare but are looking to switch plans.
It’s the Only Time to Move from your Current Plan to a New Plan
As noted above, your current Medicare policy’s price and coverage changes annually. Therefore, if you find out that the changes in your policy do not meet your health expectations, the fall Medicare Open Enrollment Period lets you join a new prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan that fits you better.
Read your Policy’s Annual Handbook or Annual Notice of Change
The best way to know if your policy has changed is to review your policy’s handbook, or the Annual Notice of Change, to spot any significant changes that can affect your health coverage. When reviewing these documents, experts suggest that you review the plan’s monthly cost of premium, out of pocket maximum, deductibles, as well as the coinsurance.
Evaluating these costs will let you know your total spending for the next year. If the price is unreasonable, you can shop around for a policy that fits into your budget.
Besides cost, you should read through your policy’s a Annual Notice of Change to confirm if your drugs are covered, and the plan’s in-network providers and health care benefits covered fit your needs. If you are dissatisfied with any changes, the Open Enrollment Period gives you the freedom to enroll in a new plan.
Shop Around for Medicare Options that Might be Better than your Current Medicare Plan
Different Medicare carriers offer Medicare plans at various rates. On that account, you should take your time to compare the rates and benefits offered by different insurance carriers in your area, even if you are satisfied with your current plan. Sometimes, you may end up finding a program that offers similar or better benefits at a lower rate than your current plan.
Check your Plan’s Rating on Medicare Plan Finder
If you want to evaluate the quality of services provided by your current plan, we suggest that you check for its rating on Medicare’s plan finder star ratings. Just like the standard rating system, a five-star rating implies that a plan has excellent performance, while a one-star rating means that the plan has reduced performance.
Since the ratings are derived from genuine customers who have been using the plan, we suggest that you consider switching to a better plan just in case your current plan is classified as one of the poorest service providers in the market.
Health experts advise that you should always look for help on deciding if you need to maintain your current Medicare policy or switch off to a different one. It’s important to understand how Medicare works.
Changing Medicare Plans
When changing a plan, we suggest that you record relevant information like the Medicare representative you talked with, the date you contacted Medicare, and the actual information that you received. This information will help you file a claim just in case the Medicare Representative gives you wrong information.
Medicare plans keep changing each year, and so are your health needs. On that account, Medicare Open Enrollment Period gives you the freedom to switch to a different plan, just in case you feel that the current plan does not meet your health needs. If you want to find a better plan, compare rates and benefits with other plans offered. Check out updated information for 2019 here. If you need personalized help, give us a call! To compare current rates in your area online, click here.