Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period – which begins October 15 and ends December 7 – gives you the opportunity to enroll in Medicare for the first time (if you are eligible and missed your Initial Enrollment Period) or make changes to your current Medicare plan.
For many, the Medicare enrollment process can be complex and the large number of plan options can seem overwhelming. To help get you started, here are a few important questions to ask during Annual Enrollment.
Do I need medicare coverage?
For those new to Medicare, understanding your long-term health care options is critical. If you are still employed but eligible for Medicare, you likely have the choice to enroll in Medicare or remain covered through your employer-sponsored insurance. (Note: exceptions apply for certain organizations and individuals.)
You can take action during Annual Enrollment if you:
- Meet the Medicare eligibility criteria
- Are more than three months past your 65th birthday
- Leave your employer or spousal coverage at the end of the year (typically a result of you or your spouse’s retirement plans)
Remember to account for your spouse’s coverage needs if he or she was a dependent on your employer’s group coverage. Medicare coverage does not include dependents, so they may need to enroll in their own Medicare plan (if eligible) or opt into an individual insurance plan.
Should I keep my current medicare plan or switch to a new plan?
If you are already on a Medicare plan and have experienced any changes in your health or health care needs over the past year you may want to use the Annual Enrollment window as a time to reevaluate Medicare plans.
What level of coverage do you have for each of the services you need – like vision, hearing, dental, and prescription drug coverage? How often do you visit each provider? These are a few questions to ask yourself when evaluating your current plan.
Maybe you need to add coverage, like a prescription drug plan. Or, perhaps your budget for medical expenses has changed and you need a more cost-effective plan. Rather than continuing to pay high monthly premiums for a plan you rarely use, you can customize benefits to better align with your actual needs.
Can I see alternative plan options during Medicare annual enrollment?
Some people are happy with their current Medicare plan and prefer to keep their coverage the same, so they do not need to take any action during the Annual Enrollment Period.
However, if you want to explore other Medicare options our team at Medicare Choice Group can help you compare plan benefits and evaluate the best solution for your individual needs.
People often aren’t even aware of the many additional benefits Medicare has to offer, such as all-in-one coverage bundles, $0 premium plans, and perks like flex-spending cards, over-the-counter allowances, and grocery gift cards.
Should I consult a Medicare Advisor or research on my own?
There are many resources online that can help you learn the basics of Medicare, but understanding what plans work best for your unique situation can be difficult. Fortunately, you don’t need to navigate this process alone.
The experts at Medicare Choice Group can share their knowledge and insider tips to help you maximize your Medicare enrollment and benefits, while taking into account your specific lifestyle and health care needs.
Connect with Medicare Choice Group online or give us a call at (855) 482-0574. We’re ready to help you along your Medicare journey!