The annual enrollment period to change your current Medicare Advantage or Part D plan or to switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage runs from October 1st to December 7th every year. Even if you’re not sure if you want to switch plans, the annual enrollment period is a good time to shop around and see what other types of plans and carriers are available in your region.
If you are currently enrolled in Original Medicare, which means that you have coverage through Medicare Parts A and B, you may want to consider shopping for a Medigap plan to protect yourself from any costs that your Original Medicare plan won’t cover. Medigaps plans, which are also called Medicare Supplement plans, are offered by private carriers and that coverage will kick in after your Original Medicare plan pays its part of your hospital or doctor bill. Medigap plans are not available to people who are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. If you’re new to Medicare and intend to stick with Original Medicare, you should pick up a Medigap plan right away. If you choose to wait to enroll in a Medigap plan, you may be subject to a carrier underwriting review before being approved for coverage.
Another thing to consider about Medicare is whether an Original Medicare plan is best for you and your circumstances, or whether you would benefit from a Medicare Advantage plan, which is offered by private carriers as opposed to Original Medicare, which is offered by the government.
Medicare Advantage plans must offer the save coverage as Parts A and B. The benefit of a Medicare Advantage plan however, is that you often get access to a different and better network of doctors based on the carrier that you work with and you may also get more types of coverage and more total coverage under Medicare Advantage than if you stayed with Original Medicare.
If you’re interested in having a Medicare Advantage plan but are conscious of your finances, there are a many options out there that do not cost any additional money other than what you are required to pay under Medicare. If you paid Medicare taxes for at least ten years of your life, you are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, which means you do not have to pay a monthly premium. You do have to pay the Medicare Part B premium though no matter whether you have Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just turned 65 or are about to or whether you’ve had Medicare for a couple years, the important thing to keep in mind is that your financial and medical circumstance are always changing so it’s important to make sure that you have the right plan to meet your needs. Give us a call today to discuss plans and rates or shop online.