Medicare open enrollment has arrived and so has the holiday season! For those of us who are 65 and older, this means it’s time to examine our current coverage and determine if it still meets our individual needs.
Each year, Medicare users are given the opportunity to review and alter their Medicare Part D plan from October 15th to December 7th. Today, we’re sharing a few tips to make the process of assessing your coverage much easier. Feel free to use these tips over the Thanksgiving holiday period to discuss Medicare options with your family and loved ones. After all, Thanksgiving is National Family History Day.
Check Your Mail
You should have received an “annual notice of change” or “evidence of benefits” letter from your insurer. This letter is important to review, because it highlights the cost and benefit changes in store for 2018.
Know Your Medications
The medications you need may vary each year, so it’s essential to have a detailed list of all your current medications before you assess your Part D coverage. Be sure to check to make sure your current medications are covered, as well as any new medications you might now be prescribed.
Review All Costs
Be sure to calculate other costs associated with health care coverage besides monthly premiums, like out-of-pocket cost sharing such as copays or coinsurance. Study these factors to determine if they fit within your budget.
Check Approved Pharmacies
Make sure your preferred pharmacy is included in your Part D coverage by checking if your pharmacy is preferred under your plan’s network. This can help lower out-of-pocket costs.
Assess Plan Ratings
Did you know Part D plans are assessed by a five-star rating system? This system shows how they are performing on specific features, such as customer service and patient safety. Don’t forget to check how your plan compares to others.
Look for Other Options
After you assess your plan, examine other options to see if there is a better fit for your individual needs. Use this Medicare Plan Finder to explore your options and compare plans here. Additionally, you can always call 1-800-Medicare 24/7, visit www.medicare.gov or call your Area Agency on Aging, which offers appointments with a Medicare information expert (SHIIP). If you need help finding contact information on your Area Agency, or if you need information on any service programs or resources, feel free to call the national Eldercare Information number at 800-677-1116.