The Medicare Annual Enrollment period is fast approaching! Now is the time to look over your current coverage and begin preparing. To help you make the most of this time and prepare the right way, here are our top tips.

Know the Medicare Annual Enrollment Dates

Probably the most important tip to help you prepare – know when this period starts and ends! You don’t want to miss out on switching your Medicare plan because you got the dates mixed up.

Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from October 15 through until December 7 every year. It’s best to mark your calendar now so you don’t miss it.

Be aware: Medicare Open Enrollment is different from Medicare Annual Enrollment. Annual Enrollment is for those who want to make a change to their current Medicare plan. Open Enrollment is from January 1 to March 31 every year and allows one to sign up for Medicare if they missed their initial enrollment period. You can learn more about the important Medicare dates you should know here.

Start Early

When it comes to the Medicare Annual Enrollment period, it’s always better to start planning early to avoid last-minute confusion and miscommunication. This period can be a confusing time, but getting a head start can help you contact industry experts and get questions answered.

Determine if Your Plan is Changing

Medicare plans can – and do – change. So, it’s important to find out what’s new with your existing coverage.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan or a Part D drug plan, you’ll receive an Annual Notice of Change letter during the month of September. If you don’t receive a notice, contact the insurance company that administers your plan.

A number of changes to your plan can occur, including changes to your coverage, provider network, drug list, and cost. Make sure you look over it thoroughly and make note of any changes that will be occurring.

Compare Your Existing Plan to Alternatives

Even if your existing plan works well for you and you’re okay with the changes being made to your plan, you should still shop around. Why? Because there may be a more cost-effective option out there!

As you compare your existing plan to others, now is also a good time to review your medical use from the past year. Look over how often you went to the doctor and how much you spent on care. Did you get new prescriptions, new doctors, or new diagnoses over the past year? This can also help you review your coverage options this Annual Enrollment Period and help you find a plan that could be a better fit than your current one.

Look Beyond Monthly Premiums When Evaluating Cost

While you need to make sure you can afford your monthly premiums with your plan, there’s more to affordability than premiums alone.

Make sure when comparing plans that you can afford the out-of-pocket costs you may face when you visit the doctor or get other medical care. Also, be sure to pay attention to copays, coinsurance, and deductibles. You want to make sure you can afford those, if and when needed.

Beware of Medicare Scams

This is the time they ramp up, so be aware of Medicare scammers trying to sell you a plan, insist you need to change your plan, or offer you free Medicare supplies over the phone or in person. It is illegal for any licensed Medicare agent to make unsolicited contact with you. So ignore random calls, texts, voicemails, or door-to-door salesmen offering Medicare services. And it goes without saying: do not give out any personal information, including your Medicare card information.

Get Help with Your Decisions

At this point, it’s quite clear: Medicare can be confusing, especially Medicare Annual Enrollment. There can be lots of changes and lots of questions about what to do about your coverage. And picking the right coverage for you can feel overwhelming.

The good thing is you don’t have to sort through all the information alone. A licensed Medicare advocate can help you compare plans, review every option, answer your questions, and help you decide which plan is your right fit. And no worrying about paying. Often, services are free, and your advocate is there for you no matter what plan you enroll in.

Jeffery Insurance is Here to Guide You

This Medicare Annual Enrollment period, Jeffery Insurance is here to help you. We will guide you through your options and assist you in signing up for a plan that suits your needs and lifestyle. Even after you sign up for a plan, we will be available every time you need us. We are based in Scottsdale but are happy to assist you no matter where you are in Arizona. Jeffery Insurance is Arizona’s health care resource!