Every year from October 15th through December 7th, the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare beneficiaries occurs. During this time, you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and/or Part D prescription drug plan.
So, what can you do to prepare for this annual event?
Here are three things to consider now.
3 Things to do to Prepare for Annual Enrollment Period
1. Don’t get tricked into rushing to make a change.
Medicare beneficiaries know that they are constantly being marketed to. After turning 65, the biggest opportunity for insurance companies to get your business is during the Annual Enrollment Period.
A common sales tactic is to create urgency. This can be done through deadlines, perceived scarcity, incentives, and making you fear you are missing out. When you are rushed into deciding, it means there’s a greater chance for regret.
Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period is a natural time for insurance companies to employ these tactics. You have a deadline set by the government. Miss this date and you might have to wait a whole year.
However, you still have time to evaluate your options—if you start the process early.
2. Evaluate your current coverage.
The second step to prepare for the Annual Enrollment Period is to evaluate your current Medicare Advantage and/or Prescription Drug Plan. Ask yourself these three questions:
- What worked well about your current plan?
- What didn’t work well with your current plan?
- What changes, if any, are coming to my current plan?
Because you are allowed to choose a new plan during this period, you aren’t locked into a plan that you didn’t love. As a result, this is the time to evaluate the good and bad aspects of your current coverage.
In addition, any changes to your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan are mailed out to you in September. This includes changes to your network of providers, costs, and the medications on your plan’s formulary.
3. Talk with a wise advisor.
The last step to prepare for the Annual Enrollment Period is to talk with a wise Medicare advisor. Medicare is confusing, especially when you are working through it alone. A wise advisor is:
- A broker: a wise advisor is one that doesn’t work for one particular insurance company but can represent plans from multiple providers.
- Innovative: a wise advisor looks at all options and isn’t afraid to think outside the box.
- Loving: a wise advisor works on behalf of you—the client.
- Transparent: a wise advisor is open about any conflicts of interest and makes recommendations that are best for you—even if that means making no changes.
Work with a Stewardship Medicare Advisor
You want to make sure that your Medicare health plan is the best one for you. Instead of working through it alone, partner with a wise advisor from Stewardship during this year’s Annual Enrollment Period.