Every year, Medicare allows you to make changes in your Medicare coverage plan. For this purpose, they commence an enrollment scheme called Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which extends from October 15 to December 7. During this open enrollment period, you will get notices regarding the changes you want to make. It is necessary to understand them as they help you decide what changes will benefit you.
Learn About What the Medicare Plan Covers
The first thing is to learn the basic information about Medicare and its coverage. If you are already on Medicare, you’ll get a Medicare & You handbook for the year 2022 in September 2021. However, if the handbook doesn’t reach you, then you can contact 1-800-MEDICARE. They will mail you a copy of the handbook. You can also get the softcopy on the official Medicare Government website. However, the hardcopy of Medicare & You also mentions the private Medicare health and drugs plan. Such private plans almost offer the same benefits, but their costs and coverage may vary.
To better understand the Medicare plans, you can reach out to your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). They’ll guide you through the benefits and coverage of health plans.
Learn About Your Medicare Open Enrollment Annual Notices
If you have enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug (Part D) plan, then you should receive a notice called Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC). If you don’t receive such a notice until September 30, then contact your plan.
These notices mark out any changes in your plan for the upcoming year. You should look out for three types of alterations in ENOC or EOC:
Change in plan’s cost:
Copays and deductibles change each year, so you should stay updated on any recent changes to avoid problems in the health coverage plan.
Change in plan’s network:
The network of Medicare’s plan also changes every year. It means that your previous doctors or pharmacies may be excluded from the 2022 Medicare network. That’s why if you visit an out-of-network doctor, your plan may not cover the costs for you.
Change in plan’s formulary:
In addition to the costs and network, changes in the plan’s formulary occur annually. It means that your current prescription drug may be removed from the plan’s coverage. Or else, the cost of your prescription drug may have changed in 2022.
Look Out for the Problems in Your Plan.
After receiving and evaluating these notices, make sure to find problems with your plan. In October, excluded Medicare plans sent a non-renewal notice to previously enrolled members. If you receive this notice, then make sure to get new coverage in 2022.
You can choose to get enrolled in Medicare Advantage or a prescription drug plan. Enrollments are taken in during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period. Each October, the government delivers a Consistent Poor Performance Notice to enrollees on low-rated health plans. It helps them to rethink and choose a better-performing plan.
Stay Alert of Marketing Violations.
During the medicare open enrollment period, you are more likely to get exposed to unreliable insurance companies. Take your time to think and make a careful decision before signing up for a contract. However, if you sense that a company is breaching Medicare’s marketing rules, you should inform your SMP Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP). SMP helps beneficiaries to stay protected from frauds, manipulations, and errors.
Following are some traits of non-trustworthy insurance companies:
- Medicare restricts companies from using a tone that suggests that Medicare prefers them.
- Companies should not call or send you an email if you haven’t asked them.
- Companies should not leave unauthorized flyers on their personal property.
Have Any Medicare Open Enrollment Related Questions?
Contact NewMedicare, we’ll answer all of your questions and help you choose the right plan for yourself.