Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
We all know someone who is enrolled in Medicare. Typically, everyone ages 65 and older is eligible for Medicare. The AEP (Annual Enrollment Period) for Medicare begins on October 15 and continues through December 7. This is the time for Medicare beneficiaries to review their Medicare benefit program and determine if they want to make changes for 2019. Here is a quick review:
- Medicare Supplement: Your Medicare Supplement plan will automatically renew unless you choose to make a change. The AEP does not apply to Med Supps. If you want to enroll in a different Medicare Supplement plan, you can apply. Approval for a new plan will be subject to an underwriting review of your health history. It is not guaranteed.
- Prescription Drug Plan (Part D): Your PDP should be reviewed to determine if it is in your best interest to keep the same plan that you had in 2018 or whether you should change. Your medications have changed, or the drug plan’s formulary may be different. It is not wise to “assume” that you should stay with the plan you have. During AEP, you can change to any PDP that you want for 2019 and your acceptance is guaranteed.
- Medicare Advantage Plan with Drug coverage (Part C): Medicare Advantage Plans should be reviewed during AEP to determine what plan is your best option for 2019. You can change to any Medicare Advantage plan for 2019 and your acceptance is guaranteed. You will want to evaluate any changes there have been to the network of providers and the drug formulary.
- Employer health plans are an option for those who continue to work beyond age 65. You can evaluate your options and determine whether it is more advantageous for you to remain on the employer plan or switch to Medicare. You have the right to choose. The choice is a comparison of costs and benefits for you and any family members that are enrolled on the employer plan.
Medicare has lots of rules! One question that frequently comes up concerns Prescription Drug Plans. All Medicare eligible individuals are required to have “creditable prescription drug.” This benefit can be provided by an employer health plan, the Veteran’s Administration, by purchasing a standalone PDP, or through other programs. If you are over 65 and don’t have the correct prescription drug benefits, you can be charged a late enrollment penalty. You may not know whether your employer provided benefits satisfy this requirement, so be certain to find out.
The staff at ComPro (comproins.com) can help you review your Medicare benefits. Please contact us to set up an appointment.