Even though we might still be enjoying the sunshine and warm weather that summer brings, it will be fall before we know it…and with that, comes an opportunity to review your Medicare coverage. In September, you’ll be receiving documentation from your Medicare Advantage plan. This Annual Notice of Coverage (ANOC) will announce any upcoming changes to your benefits for the next year. This is a great time to review your current plan and decide if you’d like to explore other options when Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) arrives.
When you receive the ANOC, take the time to go over your medical expenses from this past year. Did you have any unexpected health issues? Were you diagnosed with a chronic illness or something that requires new or different treatment or medication? Has your budget changed? Take stock of your current healthcare needs and compare them with your benefits. If you’re satisfied with your coverage, you can remain in your plan. But, if you want to explore your options, you’ll be prepared to do so during AEP.
Determine what your total out of pocket expenses were for doctor appointments, monthly premiums, and prescription medications. If they are higher than you’re comfortable with, compare other plan costs and benefits. There may be another plan with similar benefits that may lower your out-of-pocket costs.
Medicare Annual Election Period
Medicare’s AEP begins on October 15 and ends on December 7 each year. During AEP, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage. For instance, you can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, switch Prescription Drug Plans, or even drop your MA plan and revert to Original Medicare.
Even if you were satisfied with your coverage, you can explore other options available in your area just to make sure you are getting the comprehensive coverage you deserve for the price you can afford, now and in the future.