Every year, Medicare has an open enrollment period: October 15 – December 7.
During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can do the following:
- Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa;
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another;
- Change Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan; or
- Enroll in a Medicare Part D (a late enrollment penalty may apply).
Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year—things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to review their current plans, options, and needs for the next year. Many beneficiaries fail to take any action during open enrollment; Medicare is not a “set it and forget it” insurance plan.
Before you can start deciding if and what to change about your Medicare benefits, you have to understand the basics of Medicare.
In this article, I’ll review the basics of Medicare Parts A, B, C and D. Then, I’ll share some tips on navigating the Medicare Open Enrollment period and how to get help, if you’re considering making a switch or if you need help affording the Medicare premiums. [Read more…]