It’s Medicare Enrollment Time Again
This year’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is scheduled as usual for October 15th through December 7th. This means that is you have Medicare, you can make changes to you Medicare Supplement and Advantage programs.
For those who are about to enroll in Medicare for the first time, because you have just turned 65 or have a disability, you have your own Special Election Period (SEP). For those turning 65, you can enroll 3 months before your birthday month, or on your birthday month, or 3 months after. It is best to enroll before your birthday month to avoid delays in the start date of you benefits.
There are several options to go along with your Medicare plans – a Supplemental or “Gap” plan, a Medicare Advantage plan (known as Part C), and prescription drug coverage (known as Part D). There is a lot to explain about all these options – work with a trusted advisor who will sit down with you and analyze what your needs and lifestyle are, so they can show you the plan that would work best for you.
We often see the federal government and/or the insurance companies making changes late in the AEP, like late October or in November. There are some things that we know are changing for the 2019 season:
- Medicare Supplement Plans F and C are going away by 2020. These plans have slight differences but the one thing they have in common is that they pay the Part B Deductible, which is currently $183 dollars per year. The reason these plans are going away is that all new plans will require a Medicare beneficiary to pay the annual Part B deductible.
- There is a new enrollment period in the winter. There was a Medicare Advantage Disenrollment period from January 1st to February 14th, in which someone may disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and return to original Medicare, and also enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan. Starting this year, it is replaced with a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, from January 1st to March 31st, in which someone may disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and return to original Medicare, and also enroll in a Prescription Drug Plan, or, enroll in a different Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Changes in Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) this year include the annual deductible, the initial coverage limit, the percentage amount paid by the plan and enrollees during the coverage gap (The donut hole), and the annual out of pocket threshold.
These are just some of the changes in Medicare, but there may be more before the AEP is over. Consult with a trusted advisor who will keep you updated and explain how that will effect your coverage.
Will Schirmer is an educator and solution provider, taking the confusion out of the Medicare Enrollment Process. Will’s knowledge of insurance also includes home, auto, health, accident, and life insurance, and his fascination with and knowledge of cars and new automotive technology transcends beyond his days as an auto salesman. For fun, Will likes watching classic movies, rebuilding old stereo systems, and of course, writing. Contact Will at firstname.lastname@example.org