Annual Open Enrollment 2017 is here. Medicare Open Enrollment takes place every fall between October 15th and December 7th. Annual Open Enrollment 2017 is the time you can enroll for the first time or switch between plans.  Now is the right time to evaluate your existing Medicare Plan and make sure it will be able to meet your needs in the coming year.


The decisions you make during Annual Open Enrollment 2017 will impact the future of your health.


If you have traditional Medicare, you want to review your benefits in next year’s Medicare & You Handbook to determine if the benefits you are need are still being provided under the plan. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, now is the right time to review your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and/or Evidence of Coverage (EOC). Regardless of which Medicare Plan you have, make sure to evaluate it against your current health care needs.


It is crucial that you make wise decisions and know what you are getting yourself into for the next year.


Let us share with you five tips you can use to successfully select and enroll in the right health care plan for you during Annual Open Enrollment 2017.


1. Mark the fall Annual Open Enrollment 2017 dates on your calendar. You do not want to miss your window to apply for benefits. If you need to talk to Medicare or seek assistance making a choice, make sure to schedule the time well within this window.


2. Assess the previous year. What is your current Medicare plan? Are you happy with it? Did it meet your needs? How much did you have to pay for health care out of pocket? This is the first step to choosing the right plan during open enrollment. Not sure where to start? Make a list of what you want your Medicare to cover, and then select a plan based off of your wish list.


3. Before deciding on a plan during Annual Open Enrollment 2017, contact your physician. This tip should not be overlooked. It is important to talk to your physician about the Medicare plan he or she will be working with in the following year.  You do not want to enroll in a plan, and then later learn that your doctor does not accept it.  Need help finding out? You can use Medicare’s Physician Compare Tool.


4. Don’t neglect evaluating your drug coverage. Medicine can be extremely expensive and it is important you have the right coverage for you. From co-pays to hospital stays to the donut hole, you want to make sure you know what is and what is not covered when it covered to your drug coverage.


5.  Do not wait until the last minute. You should take time to evaluate each health care plan to ensure you are receiving the best possible coverage for you. This may not be possible if you wait until the day before the Annual Open Enrollment 2017 closes. Do not wait to act.


If you take tips like these into consideration then you are more likely to have a successful fall Medicare Open Enrollment. Be sure to invest the time you need to find the right plan for you. If you need help finding solutions for Medicare or other elder law topics, do not wait to contact a member of our legal team.