In this week’s Financial Friday video, we welcome Amy Pucci, our Certified Senior Advisor (CSA), to talk about Medicare and the open enrollment period starting this October. Here are the main takeaways:
WHAT IS FALL OPEN ENROLLMENT?
- Occurs each year from October 15th through December 7th
- During this time, those with Medicare can make changes to their existing coverage
WHAT CHANGES CAN I MAKE DURING FALL OPEN ENROLLMENT?
- Switch between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
- Switch from a stand-alone Part D plan to another plan
- Sign up for a Part D plan for the first time if you already have Medicare
WHEN DO THESE CHANGES TAKE PLACE?
- Changes take effect on January 1st of the upcoming year
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ORIGINAL MEDICARE AND MEDICARE ADVANTAGE?
- Original Medicare
- Parts A (hospital) and B (outpatient and physician services)
- Can see any provider in the U.S. as long as the provider accepts Medicare
- Do not need a physician referral
- Usually excludes services such as vision, dental and hearing care
- 20% coinsurance for most outpatient services
- Can have a Medigap plan which covers some of the out of pocket costs
- Medicare Advantage
- Parts A, B, and D (prescription drug coverage)
- May be restricted to seeing in-network providers
- May need referrals from primary care doctor
- Costs and rules vary depending on the plan
- May cover those excluded service (vision, dental, hearing)
- Cannot have a Medigap plan
WHAT STEPS SHOULD FOLKS TAKE DURING THIS TIME?
- Look at your current Medicare health and prescription drug coverages to see if the costs or benefits will change in the upcoming year
- For Original Medicare you will want to look at the Medicare & You handbook for the upcoming year (can also be found on the Medicare.gov web site)
- For Medicare Advantage or a Part D plan, look at your plan’s Annual Notice of Change for the upcoming year (contact your plan provider if you did not receive one)
- Assess your current health care needs – has anything changed (i.e. new prescriptions)?
- Find coverage to match your needs
DO YOU HAVE ANY IMPORTANT TIPS YOU CAN SHARE?
- Resources to review your options:
- Medicare Plan finder www.medicare.gov to compare plan coverages and costs
- Call 800-MEDICARE for questions or to make changes to your Medicare coverage
- Contact your local State Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
Call us at 888-296-7526! We would be happy to assist and provide direction!