Getting better Medicare plan coverage and lowering costs are the primary reasons to take advantage of the yearly reassessment opportunity. If you miss an Open Enrollment deadline, you’ll most likely have to wait a full year before you can make changes to your plan.
Here are four important things every Medicare beneficiary can do during Open Enrollment:
1. Review Your Plan Notice. Be sure to read any notices you receive from your Medicare plan about changes for next year. Review for any changes that could impact the drugs you take or the doctors and specialists you prefer.
2. Think Ahead for 2022 Needs. Consider any health changes that took place in 2021. Think ahead for what health conditions might need addressing in the year ahead? Will another Medicare plan offer better options? Is it important to see if you can reduce the cost by choosing another plan?
3. Ask About New Benefits That May Be Free. A number of Medicare plans now offer dental and vision benefits. Some will even offer free gym or health club benefits. While valuable, the terms and provisions can vary from one plan to another.
4. Get Assistance Through an Independent Agent. Experts recommend consulting a local Medicare professional. There are over 3,500 different Medicare Advantage (MA) plans available nationally according to MedicareSupp.org. “In Florida, there are 527 MA plans, and 424 in California,” cites AAMSI’s Jesse Slome. “Tapping the knowledge and experience of a local professional can be invaluable.”
Medicare’s Annual Enrollment only lasts 54 days. This is a vital time period to review and make decisions that last a full year. Following these four tips can save you time, money, and stress.