It’s Annual Health Care Plan Check-Up Time!
If you are covered by Medicare, it’s time for your annual health care plan check-up! Medicare open enrollment began on October 15th and ends December 7th.
Open enrollment is an eight-week window during which you can review and change your health care plan and prescription drug coverage for 2022 to make sure you are getting the right kind of coverage at the best price for your health care needs.
Many people find open enrollment to be confusing and stressful – so stressful in fact that I still remember one of my clients telling me he’d rather have a colonoscopy than deal with open enrollment.
What typically ends up happening -- people spend as little time as possible reviewing their options -- leading them to choose the cheapest plan possible without making sure it’s really the right one for them and their needs.
That’s a BIG mistake.
Last month you should have received your “Plan Annual Notice of Change.”
It’s important for you to thoroughly review that notice. If you didn’t get your notice contact your plan immediately.
In it you will find information about any changes to your plan – possible increases to costs or changes to coverage areas.
The notice will provide you with a comparison of your benefits in 2022 to those you’re currently receiving.
Prescription drug coverage often changes. Be sure to check that your prescription drug plan is still covering the medications you need. If a drug you need is no longer covered, you may want to switch plans. If a drug you take regularly is pushed into a higher tier than it's currently in, your costs are likely to go up.
The projected 2022 Medicare Part D monthly premium will average at $33. This is a slight increase from $31.47 in 2021.
This is also a good time to compare Original Medicare and Medigap plans to Medicare Advantage plans.
The biggest difference between Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap) is the way they work.
Medigap is intended simply to cover some of the gaps (also known as cost-sharing) that Original Medicare doesn’t pay for — coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles, for example. Original Medicare only pays 80 percent for Medicare-covered services such as doctors’ services and outpatient medical services and supplies.
Original Medicare doesn't cover necessities like dental care, vision, and hearing, but you'll often get coverage for these services with a Medicare Advantage plan.
Another benefit, Medicare Advantage plans may offer coverage for prescription drugs and overseas medical care which is something Original Medicare does not. If you choose a Medigap plan, you will need to enroll in a separate drug plan (Medicare Part D).
You may have fewer choices in terms of doctors and health care providers in some cases with Medicare Advantage plans. With Medigap, you have access to any doctor or provider who accepts Medicare.
If you need help reviewing your health care coverage this year, please reach out to our Medicare Specialist, Kevin Heath -- 678.928.3920 or email him directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. Kevin and his team will do their best to help you find the right plan for your individual needs.