Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15th to December 7th every year. During this period, you have the opportunity to switch Medicare plans or enroll in a new plan. If you change plans, your new cover-age will begin on January 1 of the new year.
You can enroll in Original Medicare Parts A and B (hospital and outpatient medical coverage) along with a stand-alone Medicare Part D (drug coverage) plan, also known as a PDP. With the latter option, you can also enroll in a Medigap Supplement plan. Medigap supplements work alongside Original Medicare to help cover any medical deductibles or copays.
Alternatively, you can enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), also known as MA-PDPs, which combine health and drug coverage under one plan. Advantage plans frequently cover other benefits such as hearing, vision, and dental. In most cases, you would need to continue paying your Part B monthly premium.
Here are five tips to help you get ready for Medicare’s Open Enrollment.
Check your mail.
You may get important notices form Medicare or Social Security. If you’re in a Medicare plan, you’ll get an Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC). Note any 2021 changes to your health coverage or any Extra Help you may get to pay for prescription drugs. You may also get health plan marketing materials, like brochures, from insurance companies that offer Medicare health and prescription drug plans. Remember, plans aren’t allowed to call or come to your home without an invitation from you.
If you receive a letter stating your pharmacy of choice is no longer a preferred pharmacy, please give us a call. We can help you choose a plan that is cost effective and allows you to stay at your favorite pharmacy.
2. Review your 2021 “Medicare & You” handbook.
It has information about Medicare coverage, as well as Medicare plans in your area.
3. Think about your Medicare coverage needs for 2021.
Carefully review your Medicare coverage materials during Medicare Open Enrollment. Note any changes in 2021 costs or benefits. Decide if your current Medicare coverage will meet your needs for the year ahead. If you like your current coverage and it’s still available for 2021, you don’t need to take any action.
4. Preview 2021 health and prescription drug plans.
Medicare has a Plan Finder tool that can help you compare coverage options and shop for health plans. For a personalized search, you will need to login and create an account to create or access a list of your drugs, compare your current Medicare plans to others, and see prices based on any help you get with drug costs.
5. Get personalized help.
If all this has you a bit over-whelmed, make an appointment to come see us. As your local, independent pharmacy, we are here to serve you. We will sit down with you and go over your current medications and plan options for 2022. We can help you understand what your costs may be depending on which plan you choose. And we do all this for free.
It is important to note that we cannot help anyone who has chosen Medicare Advantage. This program includes a prescription drug program, and you will not have an option to choose a drug coverage plan.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, please call us at (717) 217-6790 or schedule your appointment online here.