Just like when you had insurance through work, insurance plans need to be updated periodically and with Medicare, they need to be updated as your health needs change! Once each year you are given a time each year to make changes to your insurance plan. As we age, sometimes our needs change and sometimes there are new plans that have been created that would be a better match for your individual needs.
Even if you think you have the best plan at the most cost-beneficial price, it is a good idea to take the time to have a review of your options. Medicare Insurance Plans are competitive and there may be benefits included in some plans that would be helpful to you without costing additional premiums or that would save you money on your current out of pocket charges. At the very least, you will head into 2021 knowing you are in the very best plan for you!
There are usually three reasons that would cause a Medicare recipient to change their insurance plans:
- The plan no longer covers the types of care you now require
- The plan is not convenient. This usually means that your doctors or the providers in your area do not accept the type of plan you have
- The plan is more expensive than either you can comfortably afford or there are less costly plans that provide the care you need.
Regardless of your reasons for changing plans, there are only certain times that you are allowed to make the change.Unless you are beginning Medicare benefits for the first time, many of the changes you may want to make happen in the late fall Open Enrollment period.
Most Medicare recipients have until December 7 to make changes in your coverage.
One of the most helpful ways to assess your current coverage is to review your healthcare needs during the past year. Take the time to add up what was not covered by the insurance you have now. This can help guide decisions about what you might want to add or change about your current coverage.
Remember that some plans can add benefits for vision and dental. In addition to reviewing your coverage gaps in the year prior, it is also time to reassess your health status now and what you think you may need in the year to come.
And it is very important that you evaluate any out-of-pocket co-pays and deductibles you have been paying against the premium costs of any new plans or Medigap coverage that might fill in the gaps.
There are pros and cons to every Medicare program. Selecting the right one for you is a highly individualized process.
Changing your plan may also change the coverage you have for medications. It is important to make sure that any plan in which you might enroll will cover the actual medications that you need to take.
For those who have Medicare Advantage Plans and want to make a change to either reinstate original Medicare Parts A and B OR who want a better Advantage Plan for the types of health needs you now have, the Open Enrollment period is January 1 – March 31.
At PBS llc, we are happy to help you review your current plan and investigate plans that might be better for whatever reason you are considering making a change.