3 Reasons to Review Your Medicare Coverage Annually
Each year, Medicare offers you one – and potentially two – enrollment periods during which you can make changes to your plan. During the Annual Election Period each fall, all Medicare beneficiaries can review their current plans, learn about upcoming changes, and switch to a new plan if desired. And during Open Enrollment from January 1 to March 31 each year, those enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans get a second chance to make changes.
But what if you’re feeling relatively happy with your current Medicare enrollment? You should still take advantage of these two chances to review and potentially change your plan! Here’s why…
Your needs might change. Over time, healthcare needs change. Therefore, so should your plan. You might be able to access more coverage, preferred providers, a better deal on prescription medications, or services that were once not covered by your current plan. If you don’t make changes, you’ll be automatically re-enrolled into the plan you have now. So you might as well take the time to evaluate your plan and budget, and determine whether it will really continue to work for you.
Part D (prescription) coverage changes. Each year, a plan can change its “formulary”, or list of drugs that it covers at certain amounts. And if you haven’t needed regular prescriptions in the past, you could always develop a condition that necessitates medication. And so it makes sense to assess your needs each year during the enrollment periods, and check every particular plan’s formulary to see if your necessary prescriptions are covered (and at what amounts).
New Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare plans are continuously being revamped and new ones are added to the market. You might need a plan that covers “extras” like vision and dental care, or maybe you need one that includes your preferred providers in its network. There are even plans aimed at chronic conditions. But you won’t know about these plans unless you’re willing to do some research and consider a change in coverage.
And remember, free help is available to help you evaluate different Medicare plans. Just give us a call to schedule an appointment, and we can answer all of your questions about Medicare.