Are you prepared for Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period? On October 15th, Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment Period begins. Be mindful that every year at the same time Medicare health and drug plans make changes to costs, coverage, providers, and pharmacies in their networks. Because you may have both coverage changes and your own health condition changes, it is wise to review health plans during the open enrollment period each year.
As of now, if you are already on Medicare you should have received an “annual notice of change” letter, no later than September, from your Medicare plan. Medicare explains in this benefits letter all the changes coming in the new year. Changes including coverage and costs such as premiums, deductibles, and copays. Do you need a copy of the notice of change letter? Just click here to visit the Medicare website to request a copy.
How do you begin evaluating your current plan? We recommend you start by reviewing your medical expenses over the last six months, including a list of the doctors you see regularly and the medications you need. By reviewing your medical care for the last six months, you can account for changes in your health as well as changes in your plan. As you can see, to get an accurate picture of whether your Medicare plan is the best fit for you, you should compare more than just the premiums.
Are you looking for additional plans in your area? You can look at The Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website. Use this online tool from the government to help you select and compare plans. First, enter your zip code, details about your medications and whether you receive them by mail then you can compare plans available in your area. Also, try the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, which offer free local counseling to enrollees.
As an elder law firm, we take special interest in the Medicare program. Medicare can be essential to elder law planning because premiums for some parts of Medicare are based on your modified adjusted gross income (or MAGI) from two years ago. MAGI also adds in capital gains, Social Security, and required minimum distributions from individual retirement accounts and 401(k) plans. While you cannot change your income, you can plan for 2022’s premiums.
You may also want to look at the Medicare plan information by comparing plans online or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or visiting Medicare.gov. For more information and answers to your questions on how to get the best protection you need now to ensure you have your elder law costs planned for, our office is here to help.
At David H. Jacoby Elder Law Advocate, P. A., we are focused on providing thorough, ethical, and timely solutions for our clients and their loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.