What is the Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?An open Medicare enrollment happens on a yearly basis between January 1st and March 31st. Within this timeframe, it allows individuals to re-evaluate their current Medicare Advantage (MAPD) Plan and make changes accordingly. Here you’ll be able to disenroll from your current MAPD plan and enroll in a more suitable MAPD plan, disenroll totally from your MAPD plan to go back to original Medicare and enroll in a stand-alone Part D (prescription drug) plan. In most cases, you would enroll in a Medicare Supplement plan which most likely you’d have to qualify with certain health questions (underwriting) and could possibly be declined. All in all, this period is a great time to evaluate your current Medicare coverage and see if there’s a better deal or more benefits with another plan.
Why is a Medicare Open Enrollment Important?Insurance companies throughout the year are constantly making changes to their Medicare plans. The type of elements they’re able to change is the monthly premiums, drug costs, and deductibles. Therefore these changes could almost make your current Medicare plan unnecessary and the open enrollment allows you to freely change your existing plan into something more personally suited for you.
Being aware and updated on changes that may or may have already been implemented to your plan is vital to ensure you have the right coverage for the year ahead. The last thing you want is to have a large medical bill due to your Medicare plan uncovering that certain health situation.
What to consider when re-evaluating your Medicare plan;1. Review your Part D coverage to see if it’s essential, this is the biggest money saver if you’re able to change it to a lower plan or enroll in a plan that covers your specific formulary.
2. What are your out of pocket costs? Are they increasing? What is your annual maximum out of pocket limit? Are your doctors no longer accepting the plan?
3. You may think your plan lacks quality. If you’ve enrolled on a plan that has less than a 2 or 3-star rating, it’s the perfect time to switch to a 5-star plan.
Analyzing and comparing your existing plan with a new one can not only save you money but also give you that added peace of mind by knowing that you’re insured for certain medical situations. If you’re unsure about your current Medicare plan and the updates that may have occurred, contact your insurance provider to find out more.
It is never recommended to take the road alone; you need a guide to help you navigate the complexities of Medicare because quite simply, it is confusing and frustrating. If you need any help or advice on changing your Medicare plan, please contact us and talk to one of our insurance experts today.