Must-know facts about open enrollment
When choosing your health coverage through Medicare, you should remember that Part A is hospital insurance and will protect you if you need to make a trip to the emergency room, or are admitted and must spend a few days under hospital care or in a nursing facility. Part B medical coverage and is what you need when making a trip to the doctor’s office.
Medicare Advantage plans, offered by private insurance companies, are another way to receive all of your Part A and Part B benefits, and it may also provide additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. If you have medications due to health conditions, you’ll want to make sure you have Part D coverage, either through a Medicare Advantage plan that offers it, or a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Each year, Medicare sends out an Annual Notice of Change to give you a list of changes that are taking place to your current plan, including information about copayments and premiums for next year. The notice also compares benefits for the next year, so it’s important to consider any changes in health conditions or needs. Insurers can change the drugs covered under Part D, procedures, rates, and even networks on a yearly basis.
Any beneficiaries who aren’t satisfied with their current plans offerings for the next year can switch now. You can join a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan for the first time, or unenroll from your current coverage and go back to Original Medicare.
Of course, anyone who is pleased with their current coverage, and wants to keep the same coverage for the following year, doesn’t need to make any changes during open enrollment for Medicare.