Medicare Open Enrollment is happening now and continues through Dec. 7, 2015. Anyone with Medicare can change health plans, switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan (MA) or from MA to Original Medicare. You can also switch from one MA plan to another during this time. People with Original Medicare (or an MA plan that doesn’t include prescription drug coverage) can also add or change their Part D (prescription drug) plan selection at this time.
If you are happy with what you had last year you can usually just do nothing and you have the same plans for next year. However, since plan details can and do change, it’s important to first check that your plan still suits you. For both Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, it’s important to check on plan changes through the Medicare.gov website. Remember to think about not only plan changes but about how your life, health, location, preferences and prescriptions may have changed—is the same plan still right for you? Tools at the Medicare website will ask you to enter your prescription medications so you can compare Part D plans and make sure yours is still a good deal for you, so write down a list before you go to the website.
Location, Location, Location
Some MA plans and some Part D plans are only available in certain areas of the country—if you are planning to move, give the tool your new location and let it tell you what plans work there, too.
Don’t miss open enrollment
For the most part this is the only time you can switch your Medicare choices. There are a couple of exceptions though:
> Sign up or change plans by click here.
> Information on Special Enrollment Periods can be found here.
> Click here for Medicare Supplement plans “Medigap” information.
Rachel Goldberg, Ph.D has been the B’nai B’rith International director of health and aging policy since 2003 and the deputy director of the B’nai B’rith International Senior Services since 2007. Before joining B'nai B'rith International, she taught politics and government at the University of Puget Sound and Georgetown University. To view some of her additional content, Click Here.
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