Why Medicare Open Enrollment Is So Important

20 Oct, 2020

Open enrollment for Medicare is an important time for people age 65 and older. Seniors can enroll or make changes to their health insurance policies through Medicare in the period – October 15 to December 7. As a Medicare subscriber, you must take some time to review your current policy, look for new options/plans, and determine if you will need higher or lower coverage levels in the future. This will help you know if changing plans can turn out to be beneficial or not.

Changes you can make during open enrollment;

  • Changes to Part D – prescription drug coverage
  • Changes to Part C – Medigap and supplemental plans
  • During this time, one can also enroll in a new supplemental plan

Upon the end of the enrollment period, you would not be able to make any changes to your insurance policy. If you do not take appropriate action during this time, you may end up with inadequate coverage or bare penalties.

The following are the main reasons why seniors should not miss the Medicare open enrollment period.

  • The main reason why you should use this period wisely is to ensure you are not stuck with a Medicare plan that is not enough as per your requirements. In case you miss open enrollment, you won't get another opportunity to make changes to your insurance plan for an entire year.
  • It is vital to review your current coverage before you plan on making any changes to your policy because the current policy might be enough for the running year, but the changes Medicare would make can affect your coverage, and you might need an additional supplemental plan. Medicare Advantage plans will be changing for the coming year; thus, enrollees must be aware of those changes, typically before the enrollment period ends.
  • Medicare Advantage plans will expand their coverage in the coming years. These plans will also cover some non-medical expenses, and new plans may be offered. Besides, some plans will also cover the cost of diet, safety equipment, and transportation to doctor’s appointments. However, these changes will not be implemented by all Medicare Advantage plan providers.
  • Medicare Advantage subscribers should check if these changes affect their current plan. You might get more benefits by changing to a different, new Medicare Advantage plan or provider during the enrollment period. You should also contact your provider in order to find if these changes will affect your policy or not. Apart from that, insurance companies will also notify subscribers about any changes made; thus, pay close attention to all the information you get from your provider.
  • In case you realize a need for more comprehensive coverage or want to reduce medical costs that are a burden on your pocket, or looking for more benefits than your plan providers, a Medicare Advantage plan is right for you. It would be better to research and analyze different Advantage plans to determine which one will best meet your specific requirements.

Missing the open enrollment period means you will not be able to sign up for any of the Medicare Advantage plans unless a qualifying event occurs. Qualifying events can include migration, losing health insurance provided by an employer, and other major life events.

Open enrollment is no less than the perfect opportunity for you to spare some time to figure out if you are receiving enough coverage to fulfill your needs. Don’t miss out on this opportunity and research plans, compare costs and coverage, and choose the one that seems best to you.

Tips to fully Utilize the Open Enrollment Period

  • Review your current plan, and in case you do not have one, find out if you will need one in the coming year.
  • You may also use the Medicare.gov finder tool for coverage plan and cost comparison.
  • You may also look for private insurance companies for Part D or advantage plans to find out purchase options at affordable costs.

During this open enrollment period, check if your plan is still appropriate or providers way more than what you use. Please take advantage of open enrollment and make changes to your existing plan or select a new plan that would help you save money, maximize benefits, and secure you for the year we are entering.

MedPRO has a large network of Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) to choose from. Choosing the right network is also important. You want to make sure that your specialists are also part of your Medicare Advantage Plan. For more information on MedPRO, its network, and contracted Medicare Advantage Plans offered, please call us at 559.450.MEDI (6334) or visit us at www.cvmedpro.com