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Open enrollment for Medicare starts soon. Are you ready? From October 15th – December 7th, enrollees have the opportunity to review their current coverage and decide whether to continue as-is or make a change for 2021. If you want to continue your current coverage, you don’t need to do anything, it will automatically be extended through 2021. If you make a change during open enrollment, it will take effect on January 1, 2021.
What is Medicare Part D?
Medicare Part D is a “standalone” drug plan that covers only prescription drugs. This plan is recommended if you are in traditional Medicare. Enrollees should receive an Annual Notice of Change from their current plan, which gives information about that plan for 2021 once it is announced.
Why should I consider a different drug plan?
How do I find the drug plan that is right for me?
The best way to identify the drug plan that will cover your drugs at the lowest total cost to you is by using Medicare’s Plan Finder, a completely objective tool found at www.medicare.gov
After entering your drug information, the plan finder will:
If the Plan Finder shows that your current plan is the least expensive choice for 2021, you do not need to do anything. If you would like to change your plan, you can make the switch by calling the plan or using its website, or via the Plan Finder, or by calling 1(800)-MEDICARE.
What is a Medicare Advantage plan?
A Medicare Advantage (MA) plan is a health care plan that includes health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), private fee-for-service plans (PFFS), special needs plans, and health savings accounts. The plans available to you depend on where you live.
How should I review my Medicare Advantage Plan?
If I do not have a Medicare Advantage plan, what should I consider before enrolling?
MA enrollees do not need a Medicare supplemental policy, also known as Medigap, which can reduce out-of-pocket costs. Consider all factors before giving up a Medigap policy you already have, since you might not be sure of getting it back if you later return to fee-for-service Medicare.
What Medicare services are covered during COVID-19?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced several new policies, and clarified others, in response to COVID-19. These are the services that will be covered during the pandemic.
What is the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)?
The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) offers free, objective assistance to Medicare enrollees facing these and other decisions. During the pandemic, most SHIP sites provide service by telephone or email. Most assistance will be by appointment, so call a SHIP site soon to book a time and to find out what information you need to assemble before your appointment.
Where can I get help with Medicare enrollment?
There are SHIP sites in each of AgeGuide’s eight counties region:
To find the location of other SHIP sites, click here.
How do I avoid scams?
Scammers are always at work, especially during open enrollment. Avoid scammers using telemarketing, social media, email, and door-to-door visits to try to sell phony COVID-19 tests and vaccines, hand sanitizer, wipes, and similar products. Never give your Medicare number to anyone other than your own doctors, pharmacists, or other trusted people who work with Medicare on your behalf, like SHIP counselors.
This handy infographic provides some tips to help you navigate Fall Open Enrollment
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