Have your prescriptions changed within the last year? Maybe a medication has been removed, or a new one has been added? When was the last time you reviewed your Medicare health and prescription drug coverage?
Medicare’s annual election period (AEP) is the only time during the year that you can make changes to your health plan or prescription drug coverage. This period begins October 15 and runs through December 7, 2017. This means that you have a small window during which you can switch the prescription drug or health plan that you currently have, for different coverage effective January 1, 2018.
Not only could your own healthcare and prescription needs change throughout the course of the year, there are also new health plan and prescription drug coverage choices available to policyholders from year to year. These yearly plan changes could include what they cover, how much they charge for monthly premiums and deductibles, and which doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies are in their networks.
Always review documents and notices that your health or prescription drug plan sends you, such as the “Evidence of Coverage” or “Annual Notice of Change.” When reviewing these documents, you are looking to make sure your plan still meets your anticipated health needs, and at a cost that is affordable to you.
What about switching my Medicare supplement plan?
If you are within your 6-month open enrollment period, you can switch your Medicare supplement plan at any time. If your open enrollment period has passed, you can still apply to switch policies for better coverage or a lower premium, and at any time during the year. You just may have to answer some medical questions to qualify for the new Medicare supplement policy.
What if I am happy with my current Medicare coverage?
Even if you are satisfied with your current Medicare coverage, you should check if there is another plan in your area that offers better coverage at a lower price. We recommend that you look at other Medicare options with your insurance agent, and compare them against your current coverage to see which plan will best suit your anticipated health needs in the upcoming year, and if there is an opportunity for you to save on premium.