Updated: Dec 13, 2022
Welcome to Senior News! This is a monthly article that will focus on topics and provide tips that are important to seniors. The goal of Senior News is to provide education and be a community resource to seniors, their families and friends.
Well, it’s that time of year again: Medicare Open Enrollment. As you know, Medicare changes every year so it’s important to speak with a Medicare Consultant about those changes. Although it seems straightforward, your Medicare plan actually undergoes big shifts frequently. And each year, you have a few weeks to prepare for any upcoming changes for the next year. Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) this year is October 15th - December 7, 2022. If you make changes during this time, the changes will go into effect January 1st of the following year.
Understanding and navigating Medicare can be confusing and challenging and it’s tough to learn all the government rules, coverage details, and deadlines. Your plan’s benefits may change due to the Coronavirus and some changes may cost you unexpected expenses. It is important to understand even the smallest changes before they take effect January 2023. If you don’t pay attention to upcoming changes, you might end up paying more in the year ahead.
When open enrollment begins, again you have a few weeks to update or change your plan. So, whether you’re a new Medicare recipient or simply renewing your current plan, it’s crucial to stay on top of the changes that could affect your benefits and coverage. If you are unhappy with your plan, this is the time to make changes. During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, you can make multiple changes to your coverage. But, the last change you make is what will take effect on January 1st, 2023.
Every year in the month of September, you’ll receive a letter in the mail that contains a document called the Annual Notice of Change. The Annual Notice of Change will inform you if your premium, copays, pharmacy networks, or drug formulary are changing in the upcoming year. It is important that you review this document once you receive it. The document will compare any changes year over year in an easy to understand format. If you’re satisfied with the changes documented in your Annual Notice of Change letter, then there’s nothing you need to do! Your current coverage will renew automatically.
Here are some changes you can make during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.
If you’re enrolled in Medicare, you can leave Medicare & switch to Medicare Advantage;
If you’re enrolled in an Advantage plan, you can leave the plan and switch back to Medicare;
You can also join, leave, or change your stand-alone Part D drug plan. When you switch back to Medicare, you can then choose to enroll in a Medigap plan.
Here are some reasons you may want to leave or change your Medicare Advantage Plan:
You are unhappy with plan changes documented in the Annual Notice of Change letter;
Your monthly premium is going to increase;
Your doctor is no longer within the plan’s network;
You’re tired of paying copays every time you visit the doctor;
You need more comprehensive coverage that is attainable through a Medigap plan;
Your current Advantage plan does not include home health benefits and you want this benefit.
Here are some reasons to leave or switch your Part D plan?
The new plan formulary moved your medications to a different tier;
The plan is dropping one of your drugs completely;
Your monthly premium increased;
The policies yearly deductible increased;
There’s a new plan option with more value.
We are here to help Seniors! Whether you are enrolling in Medicare Advantage, Part D, or Medigap, our Medicare Consultants can compare your options side by side to see which coverage is best for you. If you run into any obstacles or have questions about your coverage, we are here to answer questions and help you overcome them.
Corlette Deveaux is CEO of DG Incorporated. A Marketing and Business Development Agency. She is a Senior Advocate, Philanthropist, and true Humanitarian.Our Agency works with entrepreneurs across industries to provide the highest level of service and professionalism. Some of the Clients serviced are in various industries including: Residential Assisted Living Facilities (RALF), Adult Day Care, Non-profit organizations, Physicians, Pharmacists, Medical and non-medical entrepreneurs.
This article was previously published in Century Village Newspaper.