Are you ready? On October 15, 2022, Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period begins. Each year Medicare health and drug plans make changes, from out of pocket costs and network coverage to providers and pharmacies within their networks. So there is much for the Medicare beneficiary to review.
We recommend that every Wisconsin senior look at their health plans annually. There may be Medicare plan coverage changes and your own health condition may have changed, so you can make any changes you need during the open enrollment period. We have five tips you can use to be sure you have the Medicare coverage that best meets your needs.
1. When you receive your Annual Notice of Change letter, be sure to review it. All Medicare beneficiaries are sent an “annual notice of change” from your Medicare plan no later than September. Medicare explains all the changes coming in the new year in this benefits letter. This benefits letter should provide an overview including coverage and costs, premiums, deductibles, and copays.
2. Have you signed up for Medicare yet? You should not wait to sign up for Medicare. Did you know that first time beneficiaires do not have to wait for the annual enrollment period? However, they do need to review the benefits available to them. If you are ready to enroll and learn more, visit the Medicare website.
3. Are you thinking about switching plans? Interested in looking at what additional plans are available in your area? You can look at The Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website. This is an online tool from the government that can help you select and compare plans. You enter your zip code, details about your medications and whether you receive them by mail and then you can compare plans available in your area.
4. As a Wisconsin senior have your care needs changed? When you think about switching to a new plan, it can be challenging. To begin, get an accurate picture of whether your Medicare plan is the best fit for you by looking at your medical expenses over the last six months. Reviewing your medical care for the last six months will enable you to account for changes in your health as well as changes in your plan.
5. Find out if there is a less expensive option for you. Did you know that premiums for some parts of Medicare are based on your modified adjusted gross income (or MAGI) from two years ago? MAGI also adds in capital gains, Social Security, and required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans. We know you cannot change your income, but you can plan for 2022’s premiums.
For more information, we encourage you to call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit Medicare.gov.
We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. We want to help you protect beloved seniors in your life with these helpful tips this October. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with attorney Alan Hougum today.