Medicare Open Enrollment

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is October 15 – December 7.   What can you do during this period?

Review your drug plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.

If you have a Part D plan along with a Medicare supplement, you should review your drug coverage to be sure you are not paying too much for your plan.

I have met people who are in a Part D plan that cost $26 per month five years ago.  Now their plan will cost over $80 in 2018.  They never looked at their plan from year-to-year. They just kept paying the higher premium.  And the really sad thing is that these people are taking generic drugs and should be enrolled in a plan that costs $17 per month or $22 per month.

Review your Medicare Advantage plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you recently received an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) from your plan.  Did you read your ANOC?  I doubt it.

The ANOC has a page that compares 2017 co-pays with what they will be in 2018.  Most plans in Tucson are not changing much – but one plan is changing. The plan that is changing is going up on almost every co-pay AND it will have a $195 deductible in its drug coverage. Sorry, I can’t name names in my blog because I am an insurance broker. I will share it with you if you email or call me.

I’ve been checking in with my clients who have this plan to be sure they are they are aware of the changes. The drug plan deductible will affect people who take expensive brand drugs because they will pay full price for their brand drugs until they meet the deductible.

Medicare Open Enrollment Period does not apply to Medicare supplements.

People can change their Medicare supplement at any time during the year – if they are healthy.

If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and want to go back to Original Medicare and get a supplement, you must use the Medicare Open Enrollment Period.  Here’s how I do that with my clients:

  • The client applies for a Medicare supplement in October or November, asking for a January 1st start date.
  • When my client gets word that he/she has been accepted for the Medicare supplement, we then put in an application for a Part D drug plan.
  • The Part D drug plan enrollment will cancel my client’s Medicare Advantage plan as of January 1st.

Not everybody can get a Medicare supplement if they have been in a Medicare Advantage plan for several year. I wrote about this: http://medicareblog.org/medigap-with-guaranteed-issue/

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