Navigating Medicare Open Enrollment

The fall season means the launch of Medicare open enrollment, which begins Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7. During this enrollment cycle, you may also switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D (prescription) to an alternative provider. Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities and any age with end-stage renal disease, which is permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

It is important to note that there are four parts of Medicare:

Part A: Hospital Insurance. You must meet a deductible with this program. If you have a Medicare supplement policy, it will cover the deductible.

Part B: Medical insurance that covers medical services and supplies to treat a health condition. There is an 80/20 cost split on this program.

Part C: Medicare Advantage insurance programs administered by private insurance companies

Part D: Prescription drug plan is an optional coverage for everyone that has Medicare

Medicare supplemental insurance policies are used to cover extras and deductibles not covered by the Medicare programs.

It is important to know that you must obtain Medicare three months before the month you turn 65 and enrollment extends three months past the month you turn age 65.If you do not apply for Medicare after your 65th birthday, you will be penalized.

Avoiding Scams – It’s critical

Unfortunately, there are many individuals using Medicare as a money-making scam, or those who do not provide the best options for you as an individual. In order to minimize confusion and avoid mishaps, do not answer unsolicited phone calls or letters about Medicare.

The safest way to acquire the coverage you need is through a licensed insurance broker who will review your current policy, discuss your health history and medications, and then make appropriate recommendations. If you don’t know an insurance broker, please contact your financial advisor for a referral.