5 Things You Need to Consider Before Medicare Open Enrollment

The Grove Staff
Monday, April 1, 2019

Medicare open enrollment is the time for seniors to take a look at their healthcare needs and health plan coverage. Between October 15 and December 7, individuals with Medicare have the opportunity to assess their current Medicare coverage and make plan changes for the upcoming year.

Here are the 5 things every Medicare beneficiary needs to know about Medicare open enrollment:

1. Check to see if your plan's benefits or costs have changed, and how these changes affect you.  

Did your plan premium go up? Has your plan eliminated benefits or increased copays? Reviewing changes to your Medicare coverage is a major consideration for every senior. Benefits and costs may have changed from the previous year and this could dramatically affect your coverage. Check with your current health plan or your trusted Medicare advisor to better understand what has changed and how those changes affect you. If your plan has made significant changes, it may be time to shop for a new plan.

2. Check to see if your prescription drug coverage has changed.  

Prescription drug coverage might be the single most important benefit for Medicare beneficiaries. Make sure your drugs are still covered and check to see if your medication copays have changed or moved to a different drug tier. Also, be sure your preferred pharmacy is still covered as a part of your plan's pharmacy network.

3. Make sure your doctor is still in your network.  

Doctors, hospitals and other health providers can shift in and out of networks. Make sure that the providers you need are still covered by your health plan.

4. Consider all of your healthcare costs.  

Take a good look at how much you spend for all of your healthcare costs each year. Consider how much you spend annually on premiums, copays, and deductibles. Sometimes these costs add up and can be more than you think. Medicare's open enrollment period gives you the opportunity to shop for and compare Medicare options to see if there might be a health plan that is cheaper or a better fit for your healthcare needs.

5. Are you happy with your plan?  

Plan costs are important, but cost isn't everything. Are you happy with your plan's customer service? Do you have access to the doctors and hospitals you know and trust? Does your plan offer you extra benefits like a gym membership? Does your plan feel like the right fit for you? These are all good questions to ask each year during open enrollment. Having the peace of mind that you're covered by a health plan you trust is invaluable.

For more information or to enroll in a Premera Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plan, visit our website or call 855-339-5205 (TTY: 711) 7 days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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