Like checking batteries on a smoke detector or changing oil in a car, reviewing Medicare coverage each year is the proverbial ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure.
Not just for those new to Medicare, open enrollment gives existing beneficiaries a critical opportunity to make informed choices and changes to coverage for the coming year.
To Review or Not to Review
Not convinced it’s worth the time?
Let’s say your doctor has recently moved from one healthcare system to another. Wanting to maintain this established relationship, you follow.
Simple, right? Same doctor, same Medicare plan.
Not so fast. Is your coverage adequate in the new network? If so, great. If not, adjusting your plan during open enrollment could spare you costly surprises down the road.
Act Now to Save Later
Medicare open enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7, leaving just a short couple of weeks for you to reevaluate coverage for 2021.
It’s time to carefully consider moves that could save you a bundle (and your peace of mind) next year.
During open enrollment, Medicare beneficiaries can:
- Switch plans from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare (or vice versa)
- Join a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
- Switch from one Part D plan to another
- Drop Medicare Part D coverage entirely
Changes take effect in January 2021.
Questions to Consider
Admittedly, it can be difficult these days to reevaluate a Medicare plan.
Beyond unknowns such as changes in health, there are many factors to consider when determining whether a current plan will meet future needs.
Here are some questions to ask to get the ball rolling:
- Do you like your current coverage and is it still available next year? If so, you don’t need to take any action.
- Look over your Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC), which should have arrived in September. Are there modifications to coverage, costs, or service area that affect you? If so, explore ways to mitigate impacts.
- Have you had changes in your health this year? Decide whether you need to modify your coverage.
- Think about all of Medicare’s parts. Do you feel adequately covered under Parts A, B, C, and, if applicable, D?
- Is your doctor or specialist still in network in 2021? If not, and you wish to stay with that provider, explore options for going with another plan.
- Are all drugs you take covered in your Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan? Have copays changed? Assess your options.
And a final tip: Don’t let money sit idle. Remember to reimburse yourself with tax-free dollars from your health savings account (HSA).
While these dollars cannot be used for Medicare supplemental policies, they can cover Medicare premiums.
Don’t Go It Alone
Feeling overwhelmed by options and decisions? Don’t hesitate to contact us.
Your Vista team can help you evaluate options and assess how Medicare choices fit into your bigger financial picture.