Top 5 Reasons Beneficiaries Switch Medicare Plans During AEP
There are many reasons to change coverage, let’s discover the top 5 reasons beneficiaries switch Medicare plans during AEP. Many beneficiaries switch Medicare Plans during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for different reasons.
The reasons for change could include cost, policy changes, eligibility changes, plan rating, and an evolving need for comprehensive coverage.
We know AEP is coming when Medicare’s annual notice of change letter appears in the mail. In September you should receive the notice and these changes won’t become effective until January of the following year.
The Top 5 Reasons Beneficiaries Switch Medicare Plans During AEP
Considerable changes take place, especially those with Medicare Advantage coverage. Not only does the network of doctors change, the fee schedule and the drug formulary experience alterations.
Beneficiaries can expect to receive a notice of change for Original Medicare, the private insurance MA policy change notice, and a Part D notice of a change. Those that utilize free broker services will save time and money; brokers are highly trained insurance agents that represent multiple insurance companies, giving them the freedom to match you with a suitable policy.
Another great resource for beneficiaries as we approach AEP is the Annual Election Period Checklist. The majority of seniors make policy changes during AEP. Although, there are other times when a beneficiary needs an update.
The top 5 reasons beneficiaries switch Medicare plans during AEP include eligibility, changes, costs, and policy ratings. Although, with the right broker, changes could be a positive opportunity.
Changes in Eligibility
Once Medicare Part A and Part B become effective, beneficiaries are eligible for an Open Enrollment Period. If you move or involuntarily lose coverage you could be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, this would allow you to enroll in a new policy.
Those with a Medicare Advantage policy could change coverage during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that takes place from January through March. However, Medicare Supplement beneficiaries have the flexibility to change their policy freely.
Our needs for healthcare change, and so does our need for insurance.
Our Healthcare Needs Change
One of the top reasons beneficiaries switch Medicare coverage during AEP is because their healthcare needs have changed since last year.
If a beneficiary under 65 has a disability because of heart disease they may find comfort in an MA Special Needs Plan (SNP) that specializes in Heart Disease. Then, upon turning 65, that same beneficiary could benefit tremendously from a Medigap policy.
As our health deteriorates, our needs for coverage increase. Those that purchase a Medigap policy when they’re first eligible will have the lowest premium ratings. Beneficiaries that wait until they’re sick will have a likelihood of not qualifying for coverage or paying a higher premium because of pre-existing conditions.
Annual Policy Changes
Plans change annually; sometimes this is for the better and sometimes the costs just increase. Now, the best way to ensure your coverage remains the most beneficial is to compare with other coverage options in your area.
Many Medicare beneficiaries use AEP as an opportunity for changes in coverage. Although, some beneficiaries with Medigap policies make changes during their birthday or policy anniversary.
A narrow network of doctors could be another reason for changing coverage. While Medigap policies allow beneficiaries to see any doctor that accepts Medicare, the MA plan networks are much more limited.
Then, if the network doesn’t get smaller, the costs of coverage are likely to increase.
Rising Healthcare Cost
Many beneficiaries notice higher deductibles, copayments, and premiums coming annually. However, the goal is to save money not waste money. The best way to alleviate yourself from the rising costs of healthcare is to compare plans and opt for the most beneficial policy for your needs.
The cost of a Medigap policy each month could be less than the amount spent on copayments and deductibles with a Medicare Advantage policy. Sometimes paying more upfront will save you way more in the long run.
Beneficiaries with Medigap coverage don’t worry about doctor networks, plan ratings or coverage changes. The premium will increase annually because of age; however, with Medigap, you can change coverage anytime provided you qualify.
5- Star Policy Rating
Those with MA coverage know these plans are given star ratings annually. The policies with 5-Stars have an automatic Special Election Period. So, if you’re an MA beneficiary and a local policy has 5-Stars, you can enroll in that policy anytime.
There are several factors that go into MA plan ratings; this includes the members themselves getting their care, overall member experience, any Medicare issues or complaints, as well as the policies customer service. Some companies lose star ratings because the pricing information or drug recommendations aren’t up to par.
Our Brokers Help Beneficiaries Switch Medicare Plans
Now that we discussed the top 5 reasons beneficiaries switch Medicare Plans during AEP your probably ready to start searching for better coverage. Finding the best policy for yourself can be overwhelming. Our brokers have daily experience navigating the Medicare world and they want to help you at no cost to you.
These brokers represent the top carriers in the nation and they only help you make beneficial changes to coverage. Our brokers can also assist you at any time for a policy review because we understand last years policy might not fit you best next year.
Call the number above to get started and see how easy it is to switch Medicare plans. If you can’t call now, fill out an online rate form and start the journey to better coverage.