The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for 2019 begins October 15 and runs until December 7. Anyone who is on Medicare, even if you are happy with your current plan, should take that opportunity to review your plan and make sure it’s still serving you in the best way possible.
When AEP comes around this year, here are some of the details to look into:
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D (also known as the Medicare prescription drug benefit) is one option for prescription drug coverage. This is important to review annually, especially if your medication has changed. You can compare plans at www.Medicare.gov.
You should also pay special attention to how Part D will interact with other drug coverage you might have, like through your employer or a union. Your drug coverage might change if you opt to use Part D, so make sure you know the effects ahead of time.
New Health Changes
Has your health changed over the last year? Maybe you have a new condition, you need to see a new specialist or your prescriptions have changed. Even if a change seems insignificant, it’s a good idea to look into your Medicare plan to see how it will be covered. Plans may change, and your health care needs may fluctuate from year to year. Checking in with your Medicare plan will help you stay on top of your benefits and make sure they are still a good fit.
If you’re not sure where to begin, start by estimating your health care costs for the year ahead. That will give you a starting point for what kind of coverage you’ll most likely need, and where you might need to make some changes.
Changes to Your Plan
If you are enrolled in Medicare, you will receive a packet of information each year from your insurance company detailing changes to your coverage. The changes could affect you significantly, so don’t toss those papers without reading them first.
Look closely at any premium changes and network or benefit changes. Keep your current needs in mind as you go through it. You’ll want to double check things like whether your doctors are still in network, your plan still covers what you need it to, and if you still have coverage for your medications.
Many people stick with the same benefits year after year because all the information to sort through is intimidating. If you don’t understand something or you’re not sure where to begin, don’t hesitate to ask for some help.
For New Hampshire citizens, there is a resource called ServiceLink that helps people navigate Medicare. The Medicare.gov website can also connect you with services in your area to help you understand your Medicare benefits. Your health insurance plan may also offer tools and resources for anyone enrolled in Medicare. We are happy to connect you with local resources as well, just let us know how we can help.