Medicare Open Enrollment Period
The Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare begins on October 15th through December 7th, 2021, for 2022 coverage. During this period individuals who are on Medicare can review and make changes to their current health and drug plans that would become effective on January 1st, 2022.
Who Is It for and What Can You Do?
Medicare open enrollment is for individuals who are already receiving health coverage through Medicare. People who are eligible for Medicare and need to sign up can contact the Social Security Administration prior to open enrollment. During this enrollment period, those on Medicare have many options that are available to them including:
- Switching original Medicare plan to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Switch current Medicare Advantage plan to another different Advantage plan
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to original Medicare
- Enroll in a Medicare Part D, prescription drug plan
- Change Medicare Part D plan to a different plan
- Drop Medicare Part D coverage
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Although Medicare open enrollment may seem like an easy process for some, it can be difficult to keep track of deadlines. Here are some helpful hints to avoid common mistakes during the Medicare open enrollment period:
- Know the dates! Medicare open enrollment begins October 15, 2021 and ends on December 7, 2021.
- Double check that this open enrollment period applies to you. Medicare open enrollment is for individuals who are already on Medicare, NOT for those who NEED to sign up for Medicare!
- Let your agent/broker know of any changes to your medical information. Your health needs and doctors could have changed over the past year, and this could alter your Medicare plan. It is important to make note of these changes so you can get the best plan for you.
- Pay attention to factors other than premiums. Although premiums are important, you should also pay attention to out-of-pocket costs, copayments, deductibles, and coinsurance costs!
- Don’t assume there hasn’t been changes to your current plan. It is possible that prescription drug plans change their provider networks, and your current doctors and pharmacies may no longer be in network. It’s important to double check if these changes have applied to your plan.
“If you don’t take a little time to compare options during open enrollment, you’re probably leaving money on the table. You may pay too much in premiums, or miss out on a plan that would cut your out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy.”Louise Norris, licensed broker and analyst for medicareresources.org.
How to Prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment
Preparing for Medicare open enrollment can make the process during this period less stressful and an easier transition for you and your family. Here are some tips on how to prepare for this upcoming enrollment period:
- Review your current Medicare plan and any changes for the upcoming year, then decide if this plan still fits your needs.
- Preview Medicare plans for 2022. You can browse health care plans and compare costs at: Medicare.gov
- Check your mail and reach out to an agent in your community!
Medicare open enrollment can be an overwhelming time for those who are unsure where to start or what to do. During this period, insurance companies and agents are more than willing to answer any questions or concerns you might have regarding your Medicare plans.
R. Kashmiry & Associates is a free service, so give us a call or visit our website to discuss your plan today!