Fall is known for leaves changing, apple picking, and many more fun outdoor activities, equally important fall is the time for Medicare Open Enrollment. So this year grab a pumpkin spice latte and take time to look over your Medicare options whether this is your first year eligible for Medicare, the first year you are enrolling in Medicare or if you already have a Medicare plan this is also the time to review your options and potentially change them.
If you are over age 65 then you may qualify for a Medicare plan. Medicare open enrollment is from October 15th – December 7th every year, any changes to your plan that you select become effective January 1st 2018. Those who wish to enroll in Medicare for the first time are able to and current enrollees are able to make changes to their original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part D plans. To compare plans, see what Medicare plans are available in your area and to enroll in a new plan visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227). Another option for information and enrolling is to call the plan of your choice or visit its website.AARP encourages anyone who is on a Medicare plan or eligible for enrolling to review their options during the enrolment period. Many plans change and so do your health needs over the year so take this time to ensure that the plan you are using is the best fit for you.
When picking a Medicare plan enrollees should remember the four C’s for enrolment: Cost, Coverage, Convenience, and Customer Service. Enrollees should consider the cost of premiums, what their deductible is, and cost sharing. Take the time to review the coverage that you are offered, what doctors and pharmacies are in your plan. Look into the convenience of the plan; are the doctors accessible, is mail ordering prescriptions available? Last, consider customer service of the plan. To find ratings based on the quality of care and customer service each plan provides go to Medicare.gov/quality-care-finder.
Enrolling in Medicare and making changes to your plan can be a daunting task; luckily there are many resources out there for enrolling. Visit AARP’s Medicare Starter Kit for the quick do’s and don’ts of Medicare. The AARP Medicare Resource Center and Medicare.gov are other valuable resources to answer many of the questions you may have about the Medicare enrollment period. For those who are happy with their current coverage then you do not need to take any action and your current plan will renew for 2018.
AARP was founded in 1958 and has 35 million members. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for people over the age of 50. AARP is well-known for its advocacy efforts, providing its members with important information, products and services that enhance quality of life as they age. They also promote community service and keep members and the public informed on issues relating to the over 50 age group.