The annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period began on October 15th. Every year, Medicare plans get updated with new costs and coverages. If you are on Medicare, it is important to review your plan and make sure it still matches your healthcare needs. During the Open Enrollment Period, you can change your Medicare health and prescription drug plans to ones that better suit your needs.
Types of Medicare Plans
Original Medicare consists of two elements: Part A, which covers hospital care, and Part B, which covers physician and outpatient services. Part A and Part B do not cover most prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage plans are an alternative to the traditional Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurers and cover everything that is included in traditional Part A and Part B coverage. Medicare Advantage plans can provide coverage for services beyond what is included in Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage.
Considering Your Options
During Open Enrollment, your options include switching between Original Medicare (traditional Part A and Part B coverage) and Medicare Advantage plans. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you have the opportunity to switch to a new plan, or to change your Medicare Advantage prescription drug coverage.
If you don’t have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, you can join one during Open Enrollment. You also have the option to change your prescription drug plan or drop them entirely.
Now is a good time to review your current Medicare benefits to see if they’re still right for you. Are you satisfied with the coverage and level of care you’re receiving with your current plan? Are your premium costs or out-of-pocket expenses too high? Has your health changed? Do you need medical care or prescription drugs that would be more affordable under a different plan? If your current plan doesn’t meet your healthcare needs or fit your budget, now’s the time to switch to a new plan. The Open Enrollment Period ends on December 7th, so don’t delay.
Matthew A Treskovich | CFA, CPA/PFS, CITP, CMA, CFP®, AEP®, MBA, CLU, ChFC
Chief Investment Officer