6 Tips for 2022’s Medicare Open Enrollment Season

It’s time to take a look at your Medicare options for 2023 if you haven’t already.

Every year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has an open enrollment period for Medicare. During this time, you can change your Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for the upcoming year. It’s an ideal time to review your plan and make sure it covers your current medical needs. Plans often make changes each year, and that can affect how much you have to pay out of pocket. This is why Medicare open enrollment is just the right time to review your benefits and see if you need to make any changes. With skyrocketing inflation affecting most of us in 2022, this may be the time to explore changes to your Medicare coverage.

Here are just a few examples of how you may choose to change your existing Medicare coverage:

  • Change from Medicare Part A to Medicare Advantage.
  • Switch the Medicare Advantage plan that you are using.
  • Enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if you haven’t already done so.
  • Change your coverage from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare.

Read on for a few tips to keep in mind and to-do steps during Medicare’s open-enrollment period:

  • Give some thought to your changing health needs. Have you or your partner had a change in health status over the past year? Do you use any medications that you may not have used before? Knowing your current health needs will make it easier to match you with the right plan.
  • Let a trusted advisor walk you through your options. Do you get Medicare-related mail? If you do, then you’ve probably received an overwhelming number of fliers and emails trying to convince you which plans are best. Instead of trying to wade through this on your own, find a trusted Medicare insurance expert who can drill down on the right coverage for you. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program can connect you with an unbiased resource person.
  • Find out what Medicare plans your doctors will accept in 2023. This can help you choose the right coverage for you.
  • Check out your plan’s ratings. This is possible to do through Medicare.gov or the U.S. News and World Report’s site. 
  • Watch out for Medicare open enrollment scams. This can include people who say they are “official Medicare agents” (there are no salespeople from Medicare) or someone who says you must get prescription drug coverage to keep your current Medicare plan. Also make sure to not give out personal information over the phone, the Federal Trade Commission warns. Here are more tips from Medicare on how to protect yourself against Medicare fraud.
  • Take advantage of Medicare’s resources to help you out. For instance, its plan-finder website will allow you to check out coverage and costs of Medicare versus Medicare Advantage plans, use their cost calculator, and learn more about Part D (drug coverage) choices.
  • Keep in mind that your current plan still may be the best one for you. There’s no obligation to change plans if your current Medicare plan works best for you. However, Medicare’s open enrollment period gives you the chance to compare plans and confirm your current one best suits your needs.

One additional note: If you live in an area impacted by a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Ian, you may have an expanded window of time to update or apply for Medicare benefits. Find out more information here.

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