OAs Thanksgiving approaches and November comes to an end, we also face the end of Medicare’s Annual Election Period. Soon the holiday season will be in full swing, and we’ll all be busy with preparations, so those who haven’t yet evaluated their current Medicare plans should make their healthcare a priority now.
The Annual Election Period lasts from October 15 to December 7 each year, and you don’t want to wait until December 6 to start the process of evaluating your options! Here’s what you need to do right away.
First, read your Annual Notice of Change that should have arrived in the mail back in September or early October. If you can’t find this notice, call your plan administrator. You should learn about any upcoming changes to your current Medicare plan. Remember, even if you like your plan, changes to its network of providers, the formulary of covered prescription drugs, or something else could affect you next year.
Then, call us to speak with a licensed agent to discuss all of the plans available to you. You won’t know if a better plan is out there until you research your options.
When you call, have a list of your preferred prescriptions ready, so that we can check coverage limits for them. Also provide us with the names of your primary care doctor, any specialists you see, and your preferred facilities. This can help us to determine which of your providers are in-network with a particular plan, or to find a plan that does include them.
And of course, we should discuss your budget and your expected spending on healthcare. Your goal with a Medicare plan (or plans) is to keep your out-of-pocket spending on healthcare affordable, and to hopefully prevent any surprise billing.
But remember, the Annual Election Period does end on December 7. We should get started on this process right away.