If you’re a Medicare beneficiary, you already know that choosing the right plan can help you manage your budget. And of course, if you choose a plan that operates on a network (like Medicare Advantage plan) you should choose carefully to ensure that your preferred providers are covered.
That’s why the Medicare Annual Election Period is so important.
Each fall, from October 15 to December 7, the Annual Election Period allows you to review different Medicare plans and choose one that best suits you. During this time, you can:
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
- Drop your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to Original Medicare
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
- Add a Part D (prescription) plan to your Original Medicare plan
Even if you feel satisfied with your current Medicare plan, reviewing your options could turn up surprising results. There might be a plan that is even better for your situation, but you won’t know about it unless you take a look at what’s available in your area.
So just to be certain that you’re enrolled in the best plan for your situation, take the following steps before Medicare Annual Election Period begins:
- Gather your medical or Medicare statements from this year and compute your out-of-pocket spending.
- Determine whether your spending is in line with your expectations.
- Read the Annual Notice of Change, which your plan administrator should send in the mail. It will detail changes such as your plan’s network and covered prescription drugs.
- Talk to your doctor about upcoming medical needs or prescription changes, to see if your plan will continue to work well for you.
Then, get in touch with an insurance broker who specializes in Medicare. We can help you review the different plans available in your area, identify your needs and preferences, and match you to a plan that best suits you.
And remember: If you do nothing, you’ll be automatically re-enrolled in your current plan for 2023. Take the time to investigate your options, and you could locate a Medicare plan that helps you reduce out-of-pocket spending or provides you with the facilities or doctors that you prefer.