If you aged in to Medicare this year, you had some important options available to you. Now, with the Open Enrollment Period, from October 15th to December 7th , if you have Part A and Part B Medicare, you have even more choices.
When you aged into Medicare, you had the option to choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, keep your Original Medicare plan and choose both a Medicare Supplement and a Prescription Part D Plan or keep your Original Medicare plan and choose a Part D Prescription plan. To be clear, Medicare has a Part A, Part B, and Part C. The Prescription Drug Plan is Part D.
During this Open Enrollment Period, you have multiple opportunities until December 7th to make whatever changes you want to make sure you have the Plan that best meet your health care needs.
Here are some areas of consideration when it comes to making the best choice for yourself. Your Original Medicare Plan has several deductibles and co-insurance elements that can hit you hard in the bank account if you experience a serious illness and have to be hospitalized. This is where a Medicare Supplement Plan can save you from this dire economic circumstance. Keep in mind that if you choose a Medicare Supplement Plan, each provider must, by law, offer you the same exact Plan. Don't get hung up on the name of the company, just consider the cost of the plan and both the letter designations (Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, and K) and the coverage associated with the letter.
If you are fine with choosing a doctor from within a Network, and don't want to shop around for a Part D Prescription plan, the Medicare Advantage Plan may be your best bet. The primary negative in a Medicare Advantage Plan for most Medicare recipients is that if you currently have a doctor that you're satisfied with and your doctor is not within the Network, you will have to change. However, if you are concerned by keeping your cost of health care low, than it might be better to choose a doctor from within a Network.
If you choose a Medicare Advantage Plan, depending upon your income and the benefits you choose, you may have a small monthly premium. Nevertheless, it would be small in comparison to the monthly Medicare Supplement Plan's premium. Also you can choose a Medicare Advantage Plan without the Part D Plan if you already have a Part D Plan and just choose a stand-alone Part D Plan. Take the time to consider your options carefully.
Finally, after December 7th you have an opportunity prior to February 15th to go back to Original Medicare and a stand-alone Part D plan.
This Open Enrollment Period is a significant time for you as a Medicare recipient to carefully consider your choices. Remember that except for certain circumstances, once you make a choice you are locked in until the next Open Enrollment Period.