Did you know? Each year, changes are made to Medicare health insurance and what the plans will cover. If you don’t shop your Medicare policies during Open Enrollment, you may end up paying a larger out of pocket cost than necessary on such things as: prescription drugs, office visit co-pays, hospital bills, etc.
Getting enrolled in Medicare or making changes to your Medicare coverage may not be top of mind in the midst of the changing seasons or the hustle bustle of holidays. However, we recommend that you review your Medicare policies every year to ensure you have proper health insurance coverage, because your health needs change from year to year. With the rise in cost of prescription drugs amongst other costs of living, it’s important that senior citizens take advantage of every opportunity to save on their expenses.
Therefore, it’s important to know the following information for Medicare Open Enrollment 2020:
Important Medicare Dates to Remember
Open enrollment for the following dates are all related to Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans. If you are on a Medicare Supplement plan, then your Open Enrollment is different for that portion of your coverage.
- October 15th – December 7th: Medicare Annual Open Enrollment
Currently Enrolled Medicare Subscribers can make changes to their Medicare plans for a January 1st start date. Be cautious about moving from a Medicare Supplement or Medigap policy, because you may lose out on several benefits unknowingly without a chance to regain them.
- January 1st – March 31st: Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment
This is the time when only Medicare Advantage members can make further changes to their plans. They can change back to Original Medicare and a Part D plan or change to a different Medicare Advantage plan.
Medicare Changes for 2020
1) Medicare Supplement Plans C and F are being grandfathered
- This means that if you’re currently one of these Medicare Supplement, or Medigap, plans then you will be allowed to continue that plan.
- If you turn 65 on, or before, December 31, 2019, then you will be allowed to enroll into these plans down the road.
- If you turn 65 on, or after, January 1, 2020, then these plans will no longer be available to you.
2) Prescription Drug Changes
- The donut hole was reduced a year early, both generic drugs and brand name drugs will only cost the member 25% during this phase of their drug plan. The remaining percentage was shifted to the manufacturers a year early.
- There have been a lot of buying and selling between the Part D plan carriers. Aetna seemed to be the biggest mover and shaker in this regard, doing both buying and selling. Without boring you on all those details, we recommend you shop your RX coverage this year, and every year!
Who Qualifies for Medicare?
People that meet the following criteria are eligible to enroll in Medicare:
- When you turn 65 years old
- Or, you are 65 years or older and qualify for a Special Enrollment Period
When to Apply for Medicare
When you turn 65 years old, you have a six (6) month window to get enrolled into Medicare. Many people don’t realize that the window for enrollment begins three (3) months before your 65th birthday and ends three (3) months after your birthday.
If you miss your Medicare enrollment window around your birthday, you may still get enrolled during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period or during a Special Enrollment Period.
What is Special Enrollment Period and Who Qualifies?
Special Enrollment Period is when someone 65 years or older has a qualifying life changing event that allows them the opportunity to enroll in Medicare or change their Medicare plan outside of the normal Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Period.
You qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) if you’ve had certain life events such as getting married, gaining a dependent, losing qualifying health coverage, moving, or gaining citizenship. Those who qualify for SEP have a six month window to enroll in Medicare or change Medicare plans.
There are other events that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period. If you have any questions or to find out if you qualify, call 813-454-5072.
How to Sign Up for Medicare
To get enrolled in Medicare, or to learn more about the Medicare plans and enrollment process, we invite you to contact Norgard Insurance Group. There are many aspects about Medicare to consider. Rather than navigate the plans and options yourself, we will help you get enrolled into the right Medicare plan that fits your health and wellness needs. We’ll explain your options and make recommendations based on your specific needs such as your health, lifestyle, prescribed medications, finances.
I Already Have Medicare – What Happens If I Do Nothing During Medicare Open Enrollment?
Always remember, if you don’t want to make any changes to your Medicare plans, they auto-renew with the new coverage changes. You don’t have to do anything to keep your current Medicare plan. However, we strongly suggest you be aware of the changes, if any, that are made to the plans to ensure you’re in the best health insurance coverage for your health and wellness needs.