Every year Medicare gives beneficiaries a window of opportunity to shop around and determine if their current Medicare plan is still the best one for them. During Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7, beneficiaries can freely enroll in or switch plans.
During this period, you may enroll in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan or, if you currently have a plan, you may change plans. In addition, during the seven-week period you can return to traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) from a Medicare Advantage (Part C, managed care) plan, enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, or change Advantage plans.
Beneficiaries can go to www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to make changes in their Medicare prescription drug and health plan coverage.
Beneficiaries should review their choices. Premiums and plan coverage can fluctuate. Prescription drug plans can change their premiums, deductibles, the list of drugs they cover, and their plan rules for covered drugs, exceptions, and appeals. Medicare Advantage plans can change their benefit packages, as well as their provider networks.
I’m not a fan of Medicare Advantage plans for a number of reasons.
Beware of Fraud During Open Enrollment
Medicare beneficiaries should never give their personal information out to anyone making unsolicited phone calls selling Medicare-related products or services. Don’t give out your financial information.
Here are more resources for navigating the Open Enrollment Period:
- Medicare Plan Finder, which helps you find a plan to match your needs: medicare.gov/find-a-plan
- Medicare coverage options: medicare.gov/medicarecoverageoptions/
- The 2022 Medicare & You handbook, which all Medicare beneficiaries should have received. The handbook can also be downloaded online at: gov/forms-help-resources/medicare-you-handbook/download-medicare-you-in-different-formats
- The Medicare Rights Center: medicareinteractive.org
- Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which offers independent counseling: shiptacenter.org
If you are looking for additional details on this topic or if you require advice about your situation, please contact Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. toll-free at (855) 376-5291 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please ask us about our video conferencing or telephone consultations if you are unable to come to our office.
By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, NJ Elder Care Attorney