The Medicare open enrollment season is an annual opportunity for millions of beneficiaries to make adjustments to their Medicare health plans, changes that might result in reduced costs and drastically better coverage.
If you can’t wait to make any adjustments, you should be aware that open enrollment may also be a time for huge enrollment errors. Here are three you should avoid at all costs.
Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan where your providers aren’t in-network
Medicare Advantage plans with a Part B premium give back feature provide various advantages that Original Medicare does not, including options for extended coverage for dental, vision, and hearing (in most situations) and – in certain cases – zero-premium expenses. If there is one disadvantage to an Advantage plan, it is that you are confined to a select network of providers. If you go out of network, you may have to pay for your treatment out of pocket.
What is the issue? Medicare Advantage plan networks might vary from year to year. If you’ve grown to trust a certain physician or whose office is handy for you, the last thing you want to do is continue with your current Medicare Advantage plan only to discover that your doctor is no longer in-network.
As a result, keep an eye out for such changes before committing to the same Medicare Advantage plan right away. If you discover that your chosen providers are no longer in-network, consider moving to a different plan.
Sticking with the same Part D plan without exploring others
Medicare Advantage Part D prescription costs might rise year after year, making your current medication plan more costly. Plan formularies, which decide how much you pay for your prescriptions, might also vary from year to year, resulting in inadequate coverage for the pharmaceuticals you use (keep in mind that most Medicare Advantage plans have integrated Part D drug coverage; the formularies on those plans can change just as they can for stand-alone Part D plans).
However, you should also reconsider your requirements. If you’re no longer taking the same medicines, you may be able to locate a less expensive Part D plan that still provides the coverage you need.
Assuming you and your spouse need to be on the same Part D plan
Certain things are enjoyable to do as a couple, but selecting a Part D plan is not one of them.
If you and your spouse take different drugs, the strategy that works best for you may not be the greatest option for him or her. A better option? Approach the selection process as an individual, particularly because most Part D plans do not provide a family discount.
Don’t rush through the process
Because open enrollment lasts almost two months, you have plenty of time to weigh your options and acquire the best health insurance for the following year. When assessing your plan alternatives, take your time; doing so might save you a lot of money and frustration.