*The open enrollment period for 2018 Medicare coverage is from October 15th to December 7th 2017.*
Medicare is a health insurance plan for senior citizens administered by the United States government.
Medicare can be complicated to understand because of its four parts:
To make The Medicare Open Enrollment process more clear we’ll cover a few of the more popular questions and topics surrounding Medicare Open Enrollment :
You can re-evaluate your current Medicare plan and do the following things during the open enrollment period:
>If you have (or are signing up for Medicare Plan A or Plan B, you can drop or join the Part D plan or the prescription drug plan (PDP)
>If you have Original Medicare (that is, plan A and B) you can make a switch to the Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Supplemental Insurance)
>If you’re enrolled in Medicare Advantage, you have the option to drop it so that you can switch to the Original Medicare (Plans A & B)
>If you have a ‘Medicare Advantage’ plan, you can make the switch to the newer Medicare Advantage plan
>If you’re enrolled in a Part D or a prescription drug program, you can make the switch to a newer or different Part D prescription drug program
Let’s go through some important facts about the Medicare Open Enrollment period to help you be well-informed on the subject.
Auto Renewal in Medicare
Your current Medicare plan is auto-renewed if you do not wish to make any changes to your existing Medicare plan and are enrolled in either of the following:
However, it’s important to keep in mind that in small case that your existing plan is being discontinued, you will be receiving a non-renewal notice from your health care provider and will have to switch to another plan during open enrollment.
Here’s one thing you should consider:
If you’re planning on sticking to your current Medicare plan, keep in mind that the terms are subject to change and may not be the best option available for you. It’s always important to take this time during open enrollment and evaluate your current medicare plan as there are almost always changes to either your pharmacy network, prescription drug plan or in network doctors that will accept Medicare.
Entering 2017 only 28% of people with Medicare were enrolled in a Medicare Advantage program. The other 72% have the government standard Medicare and not private insurance. Medicare C & D plans are good for senior citizens as they get both the benefits of Medicare Plan A and B plus the assurance of a private insurer that will bridge the gap between what medicare covers and the cost of healthcare plus prevent out of pocket expenses for unexpected health procedures.
Medicare Part C & D plans cover:
Prescription Medications May Have Restrictions
Medicare beneficiaries and recipients must carefully take a look at the drugs that are covered in plans they’re looking at to ensure that all the drugs you use are covered.
Keep a note of the restrictions as well. Drugs may be covered by your insurance plan but have restrictions such as a prior authorization restriction or quantity limit.
Another thing to consider is your ‘pharmacy network’.
You will have to pay more if you’re sourcing your drugs from pharmacies that are out of your Medicare plan’s network.
Check If Your Doctor Still Accepts Your Medicare Plan
If you don’t see a doctor often or regularly make sure to check that your doctor still accepts your Medicare plan.
However, if your doctor is no longer accepting your Medicare plan or is out of your network, you may have to:
You’ll Get Until February 14th to Make Your Mind About Your New Plan
You have the option to drop your new Medicare Advantage plan and switch back to your Original Medicare plan between January 1 to February 14th. You also have the option to choose a Part D plan as well.
Summing Up: The Medicare Open Enrollment Period
The Open Enrollment Period for 2018 is from October 15th to December 7th and it allows you to make adjustments to your existing medicare insurance plan or change your medicare insurance plan entirely.
If you are enrolled in Medicare Part D Prescription Plan or the Medicare Advantage Plan and don’t wish to make any changes to it, your plan will automatically be renewed. However, even though you’re enrolled in the same plan, chances are that your healthcare provider may stop accepting your plan or there may be changes to your monthly premium.
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