MEDICARE – A Guide to Plan Reviews

Review and Possibly Change Your Medicare Plan(s) Annually

It may be your plan or that of a loved one who needs help, but unless you have a plan that is subsidized by an employer, it makes good ‘cents’ to review your plans each year during the Open Enrollment Period.  Supplemental and Advantage Plans are harder to change, but can be if the situation warrants.  If you have a drug plan, that’s the one to look at.

Your Medicare Review Guide

Mark Your Calendar: Think of Open Enrollment (from October 15 to December 7) as your annual check-up for your health insurance. Mark these dates on your calendar to remind yourself that it’s time to give your plan a check-up.  Choose a time that you can sit down and focus.

  • Gather Your Documents: Take the time to gather all your healthcare documents. Your current Medicare plan, your list of prescription drugs, and any letters or notices from your current plan are all valuable pieces of this puzzle.
  • Assess Your Needs: This is your moment of self-reflection. Are there new medical conditions or medications in your life? Have you moved or want to change pharmacies? These changes can dramatically affect pricing.
  • Explore Plan Options:  Changing supplemental plans is like buying a car and may require a health evaluation, a 6-month wait period, and price differences.  The Medicare Plan Finder tool on the official Medicare website is your showroom for making comparisons.
    Our Infographic may help you understand all the parts of Medicare.
  • Check for Plan Changes: Review any updates to your current plan in terms of premiums, coverage, and out-of-pocket costs to ensure they still align with your needs.

Review Prescription Coverage: This is the part most likely to need a change. Add any new medications to your list and make sure essential medications are covered by the plan and which pharmacy is preferred. Be aware of any cost-sharing requirements – this is your financial health we’re discussing.

  • Evaluate Network Providers: This is like deciding who you want at your family gatherings. Check if your preferred doctors and healthcare providers are in-network if you’re considering a Medicare Advantage plan. You want your trusted healthcare companions to be part of your plan.
  • Budget Wisely: Look at the projected annual cost, including premiums, co-pays, and out-of-pocket expenses.  This is all shown on the Medicare website.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: Just as you’d consult with a close friend for advice, visit our Resource Hub for links to free state Medicare counselors or find a broker. They can offer that personal touch and help you make an informed decision. Then re-check the advice on the Medicare site.
  • Enroll or Make Changes: Finally, make your decision. It’s like choosing a destination for your next vacation. After all the planning and consideration, enroll in a new plan or make changes to your current plan during the Open Enrollment period.

If You Need More Help…

Our personal approach simplifies the process, making it easier for you to manage your Medicare benefits effectively. We meet with you and help you step-by-step to make sure you get the most out of your money.  We do this every year for clients and others who want the help.

Your health and peace of mind are worth every step of this journey.