Did you know Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP is currently underway? Medicare AEP began on October 15 and goes until December 7. It’s the time each year when you can switch your Medicare plan or add to your coverage. It’s a smart idea to evaluate your coverage every year and find out if another plan better meets your needs.
Make sure you’re getting the most from your Medicare benefits with these helpful tips:
- Ask the right questions.
Just because your Medicare plan met your needs last year doesn’t mean it meets them now. Ask yourself:
- Has my health changed?
- Are the services I need covered?
- Are my doctors still in network?
- Are my prescriptions covered?
- Does my current coverage travel with me wherever I go?
- Make a list of your doctors and all your prescriptions.
Make a list of your doctors and drugs so you can make sure your Medicare plan covers them.
- Determine if benefits like dental, hearing, or vision are must-haves for you.
Dental, vision and hearing care are not included in Original Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans include the same coverage as Original Medicare with extra benefits, like dental, hearing and vision care. Some plans also include over-the-counter allowances and fitness benefits.
- Read your ANOC carefully.
Don’t simply glance over your Annual Notice of Changes letter. Pay attention to the changes to see if your plan’s still meeting your needs.
- Learn when you can make changes.
In addition to AEP, Medicare also offers an Open Enrollment Period (OEP) from January 1 to March 31. During OEP, you can make a one-time switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or to Original Medicare.
- Be proactive about potential care needs.
Even if you’re active and healthy, make sure you understand the costs and how various health scenarios are covered. Don’t get caught unprepared.
- Recalculate your out-of-pocket expenses.
Add up your out-of-pocket expenses and compare it with the total costs for other Medicare plans. Make the most informed decision for your yearly budget.
- Find out the steps to take when switching Medicare plans.
Even if you don’t plan on switching this year, find out the steps to take if you ever do want to change Medicare coverage, like whom you may need to notify and how to get started.
- Determine your priorities.
Before you choose a Medicare plan, know what matters most to you. Maybe keeping your costs as low as possible is most important, or perhaps it’s keeping your doctors. Figure out your top priorities and don’t compromise.
- Don’t stress.
Whether you stay with your current coverage or decide to move plans this year, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. Your agent is ready to help make sure your Medicare journey is as stress-free as possible.
Have questions about Medicare? Call your local agent. Or visit a Florida Blue Center in your area. You can also visit floridablue.com/medicare.