Every year, you have the opportunity to review and, if you desire, to change Parts A, B and D of your Medicare plan. The time to do this is during the Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 through December 7. Any changes you make during that time will be effective January 1, 2019.
Because plans change year-to-year, as do your medical needs, it is important to use the Open Enrollment Period to make sure you have the plan that best suits your needs — and your budget.
Here are 3 ways to help you decide whether or not you want to keep your plan:
1. Create a list of the services and benefits you received last year.
Include all the medications you take in this list, as well. (Don’t have a list of your medications? This is a good time to create one. Having this list, and bringing it to every doctor’s appointment, will help you stay away from redundant medications, or medications that interact.)
Once you have your list, consider whether your needs will change in the coming year. As you consider plans, you will want to know how well they fit your needs.
2. Look at the “Plan Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) you received in September.
The ANOC notes any changes in your plan starting January 1, 2019. Your plan might change its cost, its member providers, and its coverage, so it is critical to review the changes and decide whether the plan still fits your needs. After all, if the primary care physician you love and have been with for the last thirty years is no longer in-network, you may want to change plans.
Can’t find your ANOC? (After all, it came several months ago.) Don’t worry. Contact your plan, and they’ll send you a new one.
3. Get Help from the Medicare Website
Not sure whether you’re getting the best deal? The Medicare website contains several interactive tools that can help you.
If you’re not sure which type of Medicare coverage is best for you, Original Medicare, a Medicare Advantage plan, or a supplemental “Medigap” policy, Medicare explains your options and helps you choose. Click here for the Medicare Coverage Options tool.
If you want to estimate what your out-of-pocket costs will be under different plans, use Medicare’s Out-Of-Pocket Cost Estimator tool, by clicking here.
If you want to start from scratch, and look at all possible plans, try the Medicare Plan Finder, by clicking here.
Don’t have internet? Don’t fret! A representative from Medicare can help you on the phone. Call 1-800- MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
At Tower Lodge Care Center, in Wall, NJ, we specialize in Medicare. Our staff is happy to help you navigate the Medicare system, and make sure you get the care you need and deserve.