Health & Wellness / Politics

Top Three Things to Ask Yourself during Medicare Open Enrollment Period

medicare (2)By – Melanie Recchion

The Medicare open enrollment period is right around the corner! Are you ready?  October 15th to December 7th is your annual opportunity to change your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part-D). Before you decide you may want to ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does my current plan still work for me?

Sometime in the fall, your Advantage or Part D plan will send you an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). This notice will outline any changes your plan is making for the upcoming year. You may want to read it carefully to ensure your current plan will continue to fit your needs for the upcoming year. Your plan will renew automatically Jan 1st if you do not make a change.

  1. Do lower premiums mean more savings?

The answer may surprise you.  Lower premiums do not always mean lower costs to you. Focusing on premiums may seem like the easy answer but, deductibles and higher copays could lead to greater out-of-pocket costs. Take into consideration your health care needs, budget, and the plan as a whole, instead of focusing on the premium alone.

  1. Am I getting the right information?

Taking recommendations from a friend or loved one can help us to make many decisions. However, when it comes to Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, what works for some may not work for all. Calling a trusted, licensed AMAC agent can ensure you’ll get the most accurate information including formulary drugs, deductibles, copays and premiums. Let us help you in choosing the plan that best suits your needs.

Medicare Open Enrollment gives you the opportunity to review your current plan as well as explore new plan options.  You may want to take advantage of this time and ask if your current plan is still right for you.

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Bob B.
4 years ago

Can I still enroll in Medicare today – 2/20/2017 – if I just turned 65 on my last birthday. My job provides major medical and other full benefits but it was suggested to me recently that I could also enroll in Part A.
I’m an AMAAC member but their website wasn’t working today for me to find outr anything from them.
Any accurate info is appreciated.

Ray Bettys
5 years ago

I’m retiring at age 68 on 06/30/17. I have enrolled in Medicare Part A but have been using my employers health insurance plan. As I understand it, I can enroll in Part B and Medicare Advantage shortly before I retire. Now, for the kicker — my wife is age 61 at my retirement, but works part time and gets no medical benefits. My employer has a plan for spouses of retirees to pay for her medical (less than Obamacare), but she still needs dental, vision, and prescription plans until she reaches age 65. So, I”m trying to bridge that gap for her.

Any suggestions?

Doris Patrick
5 years ago

I called my Dr. Office about next year, I will have to change plans since after 9 years on my plan, she is dropping them. So it’s do I stay and change Dr.s, or change plans?

maria rose
5 years ago

What I understand of the information for the Medicare cost to us is the following—If you turned 65 and started Medicare in 2015, your costs will be least affected because of already being in the rolls as they call being “grandfathered in”. Anyone who was new to Medicare in 2016 paid $121.70 less than originally planned for this year 2016. Starting 2017, those people will have an increase to $149.00 as originally scheduled. Here’s where I get confused, is in the mentioning of total income for the year. If you didn’t know it, you are responsible for tax on at least 85% of your Social Security depending on total income (pensions, etc). If you get a Social Security benefit that is higher than the average of $1238 plan on paying tax on it. (a nice kick in the ass for actually making a fair wage). So depending on your total income, there’s charts that have the amounts, if you’ve getting a high income in their eyes, your Medicare costs could be higher than $149.00. I know I will be charged $149.00 for 2017, since I started in 2016 plus I am having taxes taken out at 15% minimum until I see if I need to take more out. For me personally, I am dealing with the $25,000 yearly total cutoff, but I am not sure if that total is my full benefit for the year plus any other income or half. I had 6 months of just Social Security income before my pensions started. Either way, Medicare costs are rising, plus any other plan (Medicare plus or Medigap) are rising in costs. They all basically cover the same thing, BASIC COVERAGE. You have read in detail, what they don’t cover.and what you need to do if you do have a medical problem that needs coverage. I have yet to meet an agent who will tell you straight out your out of pocket cost.

Madeine Brown
5 years ago

What is the monthlly premium for 2017??? I have called Medicare and they told us they don’t know. IIread that it is going to be $250 monthly, is that right? OBAMA DOESN’T WANT US TO KNOW UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION

Ivan Berry
5 years ago
Reply to  Madeine Brown

Following the variables of 2016 costs indicates that parts A,B, etc. will vary based on incomes, pre payments while working (like Social Security) and the costs occuring when certain earnings brackets are assessed an additional amount over what your part D insurance costs. A quick search of http://www.medicare.gov didn’t bring up 2017 coverage costs. Sorry.

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