For years, you’ve worked hard to ensure that your family was well-taken-care-of. Now, you’re finally able to retire and are eligible for Medicare benefits. Once you sign up for Original Medicare, you’re enrolled for life; however, it is important to re-evaluate your policy regularly to make sure that you are getting the best health care at the lowest price. Here, we’ve compiled a shortlist of frequently asked questions about re-evaluating your existing Medicare benefits package.
Why should I re-evaluate my Medicare benefits?
Both those enrolled in Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans can make changes to their coverage for the upcoming year during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Medicare plans change frequently, and though the 2019 and 2020 plans had only slight differences, it is important that beneficiaries re-evaluate their Medicare benefits to ensure that they continue to receive the best care at the lowest price.
How often should I re-evaluate my Medicare benefits?
Medicare beneficiaries should re-evaluate their benefits annually during AEP. Medicare plans do not typically require beneficiaries to re-enroll annually, but they are invited to make changes to their coverage between October 15 and November 7 of each year. AEP is the only time throughout the year that beneficiaries can pick a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan, or switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare.
What changes can I make to my Medicare coverage?
Beneficiaries can make four main changes to their Medicare coverage during AEP. Those enrolled in Medicare can change prescription drug plans, change Medicare Advantage plans, switch back to Original Medicare, or enroll in a new Medicare Advantage plan for the first time. Any changes made during AEP go into effect on January 1 of the following year.
Why would I switch between Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans?
Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans each offers Medicare benefits. Original Medicare benefits come directly from the federal government, while Medicare Advantage plans offer similar benefits through private insurance companies. Each plan has its own perks, so it is important to keep up with the differences between the two. Original Medicare may offer lower premiums but requires beneficiaries to enroll in each part separately. Medicare Advantage plans may not be accepted by the same doctors every year, but they may include Part D drug coverage.
What is a Medicare Supplement plan? How would it change/add to my current coverage?
Medicare Supplement insurance, or Medigap policies, helps cover costs that Original Medicare does not. It is sold by private companies and helps policyholders pay the health care costs that are leftover, such as copayments, coinsurance costs, or deductibles. Medicare Supplement policies are only available to those enrolled in both Medicare Part A and Part B. These policies are unavailable to Medicare Advantage customers and only cover one policyholder, so married couples would need to apply separately. Contact a Medicare Supplement agent to learn more about the benefits of Medigap coverage by calling (888) 446-9157.
Got Medicare Questions?
We hope this information on re-evaluating your Medicare benefits is helpful to you.
If you have questions about your Medicare coverage, call Empower Brokerage today. Let us help with your Medicare questions so you can get back to the activities you enjoy the most. (888) 446-9157 or click here to get an INSTANT QUOTE
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