The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year and it’s generally the one time a year when you can make changes to your supplemental Medicare coverage. AEP is a great time to reevaluate your current and future health care needs and make sure your plan is a good fit for the upcoming year. Taking the time to explore your Medicare options can potentially save you money and help you find a plan that better aligns with the coverage and benefit features that are most important to you for the upcoming year. You may find your current plan is still the perfect fit, but it’s always a good idea to reaffirm your decision. Here are three questions to help you decide if your current plan is still meeting your needs:
- Have my health care needs changed?
Health care needs are constantly changing, and there is a chance that what worked for you in previous years may not be the best fit for you moving forward. It’s a helpful exercise to estimate your expected costs for the upcoming year by using your benefit usage from the past 12 months as a guide. This should include common expenses such as monthly premiums, deductibles, copays and prescription costs. Also, if you’ve been diagnosed with a new health condition or your medications have changed, you may need different Medicare plan benefits next year. Anticipating your health care needs will help you choose the best plan from a cost and coverage perspective.
- Has my current plan changed at all?If you’re currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you should have received a package of information from your insurance company explaining any changes to your plan for the upcoming year. You’ll receive a lot of communication about insurance during this time, so it’s important to review these documents carefully. Pay special attention to premium changes and adjustments to your plan’s network or benefits. Double check to make sure your coverage still includes your prescriptions and that your primary care provider (PCP) is still under your plan’s network—and look to see what other providers have been added to your network in case you ever want to change your PCP.
- Are there other options that might be a better fit?
AEP is the chance to do some health insurance exploring. If you want to evaluate your plan but aren’t sure where to get started, there are many resources available to you. A great place to start is medicare.gov, which offers information, explanations and other free resources on everything you need to know about Medicare. Another option is speaking with a certified insurance agent who can help you compare plans. You can also check with your health insurance company to see if they have specific tools or additional resources to help you get to know your current plan better. Priority Health offers several tools such as a Medicare Plan Advisor and a Medicare Guide that can help you choose the right plan.Medicare may seem overwhelming, but don’t let that get in the way of making sure you have the right plan. Do your research, think about your needs, ask the right questions and take advantage of this year’s AEP to choose a plan you can feel good about.
Priority Health has HMO-POS and PPO plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Priority Health Medicare depends on contract renewal. NCMS_4000_4001_1830AE 10192017