If you’re a Medicare enrollee, it’s the time of year when you can join, switch, or drop your existing Medicare supplement and/or drug plan. Open enrollment for Medicare supplemental and Medicare Advantage coverage runs from October 15th – December 7th . If you would like to consider other options for your supplemental coverage, the time to act is now!
Turning 65 brings with it decisions surrounding Medicare. Enrolling in Medicare is required and sign-up is through the Social Security Administration. While Medicare Part A & B cover hospital stays and outpatient care, and Part D covers prescriptions, additional coverage through a supplement is recommended to offset expenses not covered by Medicare.
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes an integrated drug coverage (Plan D), you are also able to change plans to other Advantage Plans, with or without drug plans, during this time. Importantly, switching between Medicare Advantage and a traditional Medicare option, is also available at this time.
There are many choices for securing coverage and each geographic region has its own carriers and coverage options. If you’re considering a change in coverage or just want to be sure you have the optimal option for your needs, look for programs offered by insurance carriers or consider meeting with an insurance agency that specializes in Medicare. These resources can determine the best coverage for you while ensuring that you are able to retain your physicians and that appropriate coverage is available for any prescription needs you may have.
Unlike the general Medicare enrollment period (January 1 through March 31), during which enrolling in Part A or B takes place, the current open enrollment period offers the following options:
- Changing from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Changing from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare
- Switching from one Medicare Advantage Plan to a different Medicare Advantage Plan
- Switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan without drug coverage
- Joining a Medicare drug plan
- Switching from one Medicare drug plan to another Medicare drug plan
- Dropping your Medicare drug plan completely
If you need assistance with determining how to proceed, there are many resources available. Feel free to speak with your advisor about resources they may be aware of and don’t forget to act by December 7th! Changes will be effective as of January 1, 2023, as long as they are elected by December 7th.