Tomorrow, October 15th, marks the start of Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). For the next seven and a half weeks, you can add, drop, or switch health plans for the following year. While you may be happy with your current coverage, you could end up paying more than you need or possibly missing out on new benefits. Plans, in addition to your health care needs, change yearly. That’s why you need to take advantage of AEP and get the best coverage for your health, pocketbook, and lifestyle. Here are three steps to take to ensure you have a successful Annual Enrollment Period.
Step 1: Do a Needs Analysis
The first thing you need to do before even considering enrolling in a specific plan is to assess your current needs. A lot can change in a year, especially with your health. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How is my overall health?
- Did I struggle to get the care I needed this year?
- Did I have to visit the doctor more or less?
- Am I comfortable with my current healthcare costs?
- Have my financial circumstances changed?
- Am I happy with my prescription drug coverage?
- Did I have to pay out more than I expected for prescriptions?
These questions are extremely important because, depending on your health condition and your current financial situation, you may want to look for a more comprehensive plan or a Medicare plan that has cheaper premiums but will still provide you with the benefits you need.
Step 2: Review Changes to Your Current Plan
You should have already received an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) from your current plan. After you assess your needs, it’s a good time to review what changes will be made to your current coverage.
Once you review the changes, you need to determine if your current coverage will still meet your needs based on the needs analysis you just compiled. Will you still be able to receive the amount of care you need and deserve? Have your premiums increased, and can you still comfortably afford them if they have?
If you determine your current plan is not the best coverage for the coming year, then it’s time to take the next step and find a new plan.
Step 3: Compare Plans
Now’s the time to explore your options and compare them. Take your needs analysis and see which plan will offer the benefits you need at a cost you’re comfortable with.
Sorting through plans can be confusing. Many Medicare beneficiaries find it helpful to work directly with a licensed insurance agent for guidance and direction. They can help you with everything from completing your needs analysis to reviewing your current plan changes and comparing plans in your area.
Don’t miss this opportunity to get the Medicare coverage you need and deserve. If you need assistance, contact us, and we’ll put you in touch with one of our preferred brokers, and they’ll help you have a successful Annual Enrollment Period.