Are You Ready for Medicare Open Enrollment?
The dates for Medicare Open Enrollment have stayed the same since 2011. The annual enrollment period for 2019 runs from October 15, 2018 to December 7, 2018. If you want to choose a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll need to enroll during this period. Even if you’re currently happy with your plan, it pays to look into your options. You may find a more affordable plan that suits your needs even better. Here are some things to remember during the fall enrollment period.
Make Changes During Open Enrollment
If your current Medicare coverage doesn’t suit your needs, you can pick a new Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan during open enrollment. For most people, the only time you can change plans is during the enrollment period. However, any changes you make to your plan do not take effect until January 1.
You Can Keep Your Current Plan
If you don’t want to make changes to your current plan, you don’t have to do anything. Your plan will auto-renew, provided that it continues to be available. If your plan isn’t going to be available in 2019, you will receive a non-renewal notice. You will have to enroll in a new plan to ensure you have the right coverage.
When you look at Medicare plans online, it is a good idea to confirm the information with the insurance company itself. If you call a plan, make notes about who you speak with, the date and the next steps. This can protect you if a representative provides misinformation, but it can also help you as you compare benefits.
The Difference Between Medicare Open Enrollment and Federal Marketplace Open Enrollment
The Exchanges, or federal Marketplaces, are not the same thing as Medicare. The Marketplaces are typically for uninsured or underinsured Americans who are not eligible for Medicare. The enrollment periods may overlap, which can be confusing. If you are eligible for Medicare, you should use the Medicare Open Enrollment Period to make changes to your coverage.
What If You Don’t Like Your Medicare Advantage Plan?
If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan in the fall, but decide that it doesn’t fit your needs, you can disenroll. The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period occurs from January 1 through February 14 in the new plan year. You can join Original Medicare during this time. Changes made will take effect on the first of the following month.
Help Is Available
Medicare does want you to be informed. The Plan Finder tool can help you find plans for your area and help you compare plans based on your own health needs You may also want to talk to a Medicare broker in Santa Rosa about your options. Consider things such as your prescription drugs, current doctors and conditions.
For more information on 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment, contact us at (707) 823-3689 or use our online form. Like us on Facebook. Find us on LinkedIn. Subscribe to our blog and get more tips about insurance.