Medicare open enrollment is here again until December 7.
It is an important opportunity to make sure that your Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage or Medicare Advantage Plan still meets your needs, as well as a chance to explore other options. But, as you go through this process, be sure to take a few extra minutes to review and update your health information, as well.
Do you have an up-to-date list of all the medicines you take? Are the dosages written down also? What about a list of the vitamins or other supplements you take? Do you regularly use any over-the-counter (OTC) medicines like low dose aspirin? They need to be noted, too. So often, people forget to include supplements or OTCs when asked about medicines. Make sure your list is complete.
Next, you should have the names and contact information for all the doctors or other providers you see. Be sure to include why you see them or what they are treating you for.
Yes, it takes a little bit of time to get all of these facts and numbers up-to-date, but having them ready is a real convenience when you visit a new doctor and have to fill out forms, or if you are faced with an emergency and need information quickly. And you will need that list of medicines and dosages in order to review your prescription plan.
When Medicare Part D was first passed more than a decade ago, beneficiaries were encouraged to use the Thanksgiving holiday period—when families were likely to be together—to review their Medicare options and discuss them with their loved ones. And that idea is still an excellent one. But you don’t have to stop there!
Every person in your family, regardless of their age, should have a list of their doctors, any conditions they have, and any medicines. Everyone! So Thanksgiving is also a perfect time to urge your family to follow your good example!
Finally, don’t forget that the Seniors Speak Out website has many useful tools to help you with open enrollment! Be sure to check them out and share with your friends.