The Medicare annual enrollment deadline is quickly approaching. You have just over a week to make your final selections to either enroll or make changes to your existing Medicare coverage. You pay nothing to change coverage during the annual enrollment period, so now is the time to act!
There are several actions you can take during Medicare’s annual enrollment period. All of which will go into effect on January 1, 2023.
You have until December 7th to:
- Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage
- Switch from Medicare Advantage to Medicare
- Change Medicare Advantage plans
- Change Part D plans, sign up for Part D, or drop Part D
We know Medicare and all its parts can be confusing, even for those who are insurance savvy. So, just in case you are still scratching your head and in need of a little clarification before the December 7th Medicare annual enrollment deadline, here are some of the main points to know and remember.
The Basics of Medicare
Medicare is a federally run health plan program that is available to seniors aged 65 and older. There are some exceptions to the age criteria that allow coverage to include individuals with certain disabilities and end-stage renal failure (kidney disease) despite their age.
Medicare is comprised of four parts.
Hospital Insurance, Part A
- Hospital Stays
- Skilled Nursing Care
- Home Health Services
Medical Insurance, Part B
- Doctor Visits
- Lab Tests
- Medical Equipment
Medicare Advantage, Part C
- Same Benefits as Part A and B
- Prescription Drug Coverage
- Dental, Vision, and Hearing Services
- Health and Wellness Programs
Drug Coverage, Part D
- Prescription Drugs
Parts A and B together are what is referred to as Original Medicare. The federal government administers these. Part C is called Medicare Advantage. It includes both Parts A and B, in addition to some form of Part D. Medicare Advantage is offered through private insurance companies and may also include other value-based benefits not covered by Original Medicare, such as hearing, vision, and dental.
Among the Medicare options is also supplement plans known as Medigap insurance coverage. These, like Medicare Advantage, are offered by private insurance companies. Medigap plans are available to those individuals with Original Medicare who would like to receive additional help covering some of the healthcare costs that Original Medicare does not.
Medicare Advantage and Medigap services all vary by individual plans.
The Cost of Medicare
Part A of Original Medicare is free if you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for at least ten years. Part B coverage does have a monthly premium and deductible. The federal program sets a standard monthly premium for Part A and Part B each year. Individual premiums can vary based on income. Medicare also offers low-income subsidy programs for those who are in need of assistance.
Medicare Advantage costs can vary greatly depending on insurance companies. Several Medicare Advantage plans offer $0 monthly premiums making coverage more affordable than ever.
What You Need To Consider
When selecting your coverage, there are a few key things you need to take into consideration, one being your health. Look for a plan that provides benefits that cater to your specific needs. If you need vision, dental, and hearing, select an option that offers those benefits at a reasonable cost. If you rarely need extensive services, perhaps look for a plan that may have a higher deductible but a lower monthly premium.
When selecting a plan, you’ll also want to be sure that your primary care provider accepts that specific coverage if you plan to stay under their care. With over 50 locations and more than 70 providers across Florida, VIPcare makes it easier than ever to get the care you need. We accept most plans and make changing providers quick and hassle-free.
Need Help? Let Us Know!
We know how confusing Medicare and open enrollment can be. Finding the best plan for you and your healthcare needs can be not only difficult but very time-consuming. You can visit www.medicare.gov and create an account to sort through over 30 available plans. Just answer a few questions, and then you can:
- see drug prices based on any help you get
- compare your current plan to others
- access and store your drug list
- access other useful features
If you’re still in need of assistance, we want to help. Reach out to us, and we’ll put you in contact with one of our preferred agents. They will answer all your questions and break down your options so they are easy to understand and choose from.
But don’t wait! The Medicare annual enrollment deadline December 7th is just around the corner, and you don’t want to miss your opportunity to ensure you have the coverage you need and deserve.
Contact us today!