Have you heard that Medicare’s open enrollment period is right around the corner? To prepare for open enrollment, let us review five key facts to be aware of regarding Medicare and open enrollment.
- Date of Open Enrollment. Medicare’s open enrollment is typically October 15 through December 7. Confirm the enrollment period dates with medicare.gov to be certain you do not miss the deadline.
- You do not have to be 65 to qualify for Medicare. While individuals who turn 65 are eligible for Medicare, you may also qualify for Medicare if you are younger than 65 but suffer from a qualifying disability or End Stage Renal Disease.
- Plans change. Before open enrollment begins, Medicare plans will send their customers an “Annual Notice of Change,” which will explain any changes to the current plan. As plans and pricing change every year, it is important to review this notice and to compare other plans.
- Your doctors and healthcare needs change. When reviewing plans, it can be important to confirm that your preferred medical providers are still considered “in-network” for your plan. It can also be important to evaluate your current healthcare needs. Perhaps you have been diagnosed with a new medical condition or are now required to take additional prescriptions. Which plan you choose should be based upon your expected healthcare needs for the upcoming year so that you can be sure you have the right coverage.
- Open enrollment does not necessarily apply to Medigap insurance. Medicare pays for most, but not all, of the costs associated with medical care. That is why individuals can purchase Medigap insurance to cover the gaps. There are limited times during which you can purchase a Medigap plan. To ensure you obtain a plan with the best available rate, you should purchase during the first 6 months of your initial enrollment in Medicare.
If you need any assistance navigating Medicare enrollment and coverage, do not hesitate to contact our office for assistance.