Every year, during open enrollment, you have the opportunity to review and make changes to your current Medicare coverage.
Even if you have been with the same insurance plan for a long time, what you pay and what coverage you have can change. As you grow older, your medical needs may change, and your current plan may not be right for you.
Here are some reasons to review your coverage:
- You notice that you are paying more for your prescriptions.
- You are now wintering in Florida or spending your summers up in Maine.
- Your income has dropped.
- You have a new diagnosis of a chronic condition.
- You are in a Medicare Advantage plan and your doctor is no longer in network.
- Changes to your former employer’s retiree health benefits
- You are very healthy, and only see a doctor infrequently
- Your plan has changed or removed some benefits.
Contacting your local senior center and to schedule an appointment with a SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) counselor. These highly trained volunteers can review your current coverage with you and help you evaluate whether it still meets your needs. If not, they will review your options. SHINE offers free, unbiased health insurance information and counseling to people with Medicare and their caregivers. Any changes you make will become effective on January1, 2024.
Common Medicare mistakes we see:
Thinking that an AARP membership card provides you with prescription coverage under Medicare Part D.
Not signing up for Medicare Part B. You get Part A automatically. By not signing up for Medicare Part B in a timely manner, you may delay coverage and need to pay a late enrollment penalty for the rest of your life.
Thinking that Medicare Advantage plans cove prescriptions in the “donut hole”
Thinking you earn too much to get help paying for prescriptions. You can earn $70,000 as an individual and $98,000 as a couple and be eligible for the Massachusetts sponsored prescription drug program for older adults and people with disabilities.
The Care Managers of JFS Allies in Aging can answer your questions about Medicare help you understand your health insurance needs so you can make wise decisions during this year’s open enrollment period.