A common misconception with Medicare enrollment is that it is a one-time event that coincides with your 65th birthday and/or retirement. However, a set-it-and-forget-it mindset with Medicare can prove to be a costly mistake.
Each year insurance companies often make changes to Medicare plans that can affect monthly premiums, deductibles, co-pays, drug costs/coverage, health care provider networks and pharmacies. Now is the time to review your coverage options for 2020 to avoid an unwelcome healthcare cost surprise in the New Year.
Annually, Medicare offers an open enrollment period when participants can review their existing Medicare coverage before the start of the new plan year on January 1. Medicare Open Enrollment is currently underway, and if you or a family member are Medicare-eligible, we recommend that you review your existing coverage. The open enrollment period began October 15, and you have until December 7 to change Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the upcoming year. The effective date of plan changes is January 1, 2020.
Anyone currently enrolled in a Medicare health and prescription drug plan should expect to receive “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) materials, which should be reviewed annually. To reevaluate Medicare coverage options available in your area, you can visit Medicare.gov to review the 2020 plan offerings. If you are simply reviewing your Part D prescription drug plan, your pharmacist should be able to assist in the review of applicable coverage.
If the number of options available is overwhelming, you can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to speak with a Medicare representative who can walk you through the process. Otherwise, if you are satisfied that your current plan will meet your needs in 2020 and your plan is still being offered, you do not need to take any additional action. Action is only required if you choose to make a change to your Medicare coverage.
Begin reviewing Medicare coverage before it is too late. The open enrollment period ends December 7, 2019. As a Medicare participant, you need to ensure your health and prescription drug coverage needs are met in 2020.
As always, if you have any questions about your Medicare coverage or the enrollment process, please contact your advisor.