October marks the beginning of the Medicare Open Enrollment period. In fact, it runs October 15 through December 7 every year. This is a great time to learn more about open enrollment and why it matters.
As you may know, every year, there are changes made to Medicare health and drug plans. These changes might include shifts in coverage, changes in providers and changes to the various costs. The open enrollment period allows those with Medicare to make changes, if they choose, for the upcoming year. Sometimes, a minor change can better serve your needs and other times, a more substantial change is required. Note that one’s current policy may no longer be offered and in those situations, they will have to find another plan. The best way to accomplish this is by reviewing the material provided by CMS. A few of those documents might include the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC).
It’s worth noting that you can drop your Medicare Advantage plan in order to switch to the Original Medicare coverage. This disenrollment period occurs between January 1 and February 14 each year.
If you’ve not already received information in the mail, you soon will as it’s a part of the Medicare Open Enrollment process. This information will provide some details associated with any changes with your current coverage. You should also receive a current handbook that will provide information for Medicare plans in your area. Further, there’s a new Medicare Plan Finder site located on the Medicare website. This allows for an easy plan comparison so that you can make the best decisions for your needs. You’ll start with your zip code and will receive all of the available plans. If you wish, you may also log in to the site and provide your specifics for a more customized return. You’ll have to create a user profile in order to gain access, however.
As you’re exploring the plans that are available, you can also find help for paying for your Medicare drug coverage should you need it. Medicare also offers on its website links for individual states and any health insurance assistance programs that are available should you or a loved one need it.
Finally, you’ll discover a host of precautions for guarding your personal information. As we know, fraud is on the rise and seniors are especially vulnerable. Medicare reports that the number of scams or attempted scams rise dramatically during the open enrollment period. It’s wise to have family members explore these precautions so that they can remain vigilant in protecting you.
Of course, you can contact your estate planning lawyer who can help you through any changes you’re anticipating. Many who haven’t received Medicare for very long find it beneficial to speak with someone familiar with the changes and who can ensure your expectations are met. Also, you can visit the Medicare site as well for an abundance of resources. Feel free to give DeBruyckere Law Offices a call at (603) 894-4141 or (978) 969-0331.