Medicare open enrollment for Medicare Advantage plans and Part D Drug coverage starts October 15, 2021 and ends on December 7, 2021.
Some seniors will just automatically re-enroll in their current plan. I would advise against this. There are quite a few reasons why.
#1) Plans change from year to year. You always want to make sure your aware of how your plan changed and if there might be a different one that will suit your needs better. #2) Your needs change. Maybe you’re on a new medication or you were diagnosed with a new condition over the past year. Does your current plan still do the best job of covering this new condition or medication? #3) Prices change. Not all plans have rate adjustments annually but some do. So make sure you aware of this before you just auto re-enroll.
Starting in September, you will receive the “Annual Notice of Change” from your current plan. This will tell you how the plan has changed including cost, coverage and services being offered for the new year. Review this document carefully!
During AEP (Annual Enrollment Period), you can switch Medicare Advantage plans or switch from Medicare with a supplement to Medicare Advantage. You can also switch your drug plans (Part D).
To determine which MA (Medicare Advantage) plan best suites your needs, there are a few things to consider. First off is does your doctor take the plan anymore. With MA plans, they are network based and some doctors and facilities only take certain varieties of plans. Secondly is does the plan do an adequate job of paying for your medications. Every company has slight variations in the formularies. So not all plans are created equal with respect to some medications. Thirdly are you in the plan that suites your wants. Do you want an HMO with a low premium or do you prefer the flexibility of a PPO? You may have noticed I didn’t even mention premiums yet. Well often premiums are not a big deal on MA plans. Most of the premiums are less than $30 or $40 each. So premium is often not a big consideration. My recommendation is to talk to a licensed Medicare Broker. A broker will be allowed to look at all of the carriers in your service area and then go over those plans in detail. They will do a full summary of coverage review of the plans. I, myself, am licensed with most of the major carriers you could possibly want to sign up for. So if you would like a full review of your current plan and the 2021 plans let me know. We can start talking about the 2021 plans on October 1, 2021.