For those eligible for Medicare it’s time to shop around as the open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D) started October 15th and runs through December 7th.
Why shop around? Like any other insurance policy that renews annually, it’s important to see if your current options still best fit your needs. For example, what may have been the most efficiently priced policy last year could be significantly higher this year. Pricing for most Medicare Advantage Plans are expected to increase moderately this coming this year. However many Medicare Part D Plans are expecting double digit increases in premiums. Second, your current plans provisions and benefits may have changed and may not best fit your needs anymore. Finally, you may have had a change in your personal circumstances where another option may be more efficient. When shopping around for Medicare Advantage, just make sure that any new plan that you are considering has your primary care physician, specialists and care facilities that you are likely to use are on the plans network of providers.
The best place to start shopping is the Medicare Plan Finder on the Medicare website. Before shopping, it is recommended that you have your list of prescription drugs you take and the dosage. Plug in Medicare number and drugs and it will produce a list of available options and detail so you can determine what plan is the best fit for you. One on one advice, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program offers Medicare counseling services.
In the end, it pays to be proactive as it could prevent disappointment in the quality of coverage you receive and it may save you hundreds of dollars each year.