What You Need to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment 2020
Choosing your health insurance can be an absolute headache, especially when you’re dealing with Medicare. Most people make their selections when they first enroll in the program and opt not to make changes, simply to avoid the inconvenience. However, the Medicare open enrollment period is the perfect opportunity for reviewing your current plan and making updates or changes as needed. Doing so can save you money and trouble in the long run. This year, be smart about your Medicare coverage and learn what you need to know about Medicare open enrollment 2020 with these tips.
Understand the different parts of Medicare
If Medicare is a complete mystery to you, start by understanding the different parts of the program. Medicare is divided into four parts:
- Part A (hospital insurance),
- Part B (medical insurance),
- Part C (Medicare Advantage, offered by private companies), and
- Part D (prescription coverage).
Part C and D offer choices in plans and coverage, giving participants flexibility with their healthcare. Open enrollment season is the timeframe wherein qualified individuals can enroll for the first time or make changes to their current plans.
Review your “Plan Annual Notice of Change”
Medicare plan coverage can change year to year. If your plan changes, you’ll receive a “Plan Annual Notice of Change” document in the mail. Whether it’s price, copays, deductibles or coverage, it’s essential to know what to expect in the coming year. If you have a loss of benefits, you may want to consider switching to a plan that covers your needs, especially when it comes to your prescription medication.
Take advantage of Medicare comparison tools online
It can be tough to decide what Medicare plans to choose. Because every individual’s needs are different, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” option. It’s up to you to determine what plan is best for you. Some make the folly of choosing solely based on price. However, what you should look for is the right balance of cost and coverage. To simplify this task, try using the Medicare Plan Finder tool online. This free service allows you to compare and shop for Medicare Advantage Plans and Part D prescription plans to help you make the most informed decision.
Avoid late enrollment penalties
Once you turn 65, it’s important to enroll in Medicare as soon as possible to avoid penalties in the future. Those who delay enrolling in Part A and B end up paying more in premiums than those who sign up as soon as they are eligible. There are exceptions for people (and their spouses) who are covered by health insurance through their jobs, as long as the employer employs 20 or more people. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and having two payers can help minimize your out-of-pocket spending.
Where to enroll
Once you have completed your research and have decided what plan you’d like, you can sign up for Medicare online or switch your plan by visiting the Medicare Plan Finder. Remember, the deadline to enroll for the 2020 year is December 15, 2019 so set a reminder to complete your enrollment and changes in time.