Did you know that Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period begins in October? Every year, Medicare health and drug plans make changes to costs, coverage, providers, and pharmacies in their networks. Between plan coverage changes and your own health condition changes, it is wise to revisit health plans during the open enrollment period annually.

If you are already on Medicare, you should have received an “annual notice of change” from your Medicare plan by September. In this benefits letter, Medicare explains all the changes coming in the new year, including coverage and costs such as premiums, deductibles, and copays. Need to request a copy? Just click here to visit the Medicare website.

Do you wonder where to start in evaluating your current plan? Start by reviewing your medical expenses over the last six months, including a list of the doctors you see regularly and the medications you need. To get an accurate picture of whether your Medicare plan is the best fit for you, you should compare more than just the premiums. By reviewing your medical care for the last six months, you can account for changes in your health as well as changes in your plan.

If you want to see what additional plans are out there in your area, you can look at The Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website. This is an online tool from the government to help you select and compare plans. After you enter your zip code and details about your medications and whether you receive them by mail, you can compare plans available in your area. You can also try the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, which offer free local counseling to enrollees.

As an elder law firm, we take special interest in the Medicare program. Medicare can be essential to elder law planning because premiums for some parts of Medicare are based on your modified adjusted gross income (or MAGI) from two years ago. MAGI also adds in capital gains, Social Security, and required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans. While you cannot change your income, you can plan for 2022’s premiums.

You may also want to look at the Medicare plan information by comparing plans online or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or visiting Medicare.gov. For more information and answers to your questions on how to get the best protection you need now to ensure you have your elder law costs planned for, our office is here to help. Please feel free to contact us today to schedule a time to meet.