No matter what your healthcare needs are, right now is the time to think about your Medicare plan, as open enrollment is from October 15th to December 7th. If you need to make any changes to your plan, now is the time. Any changes you make during this time will go into effect on January 1, 2024. This is open to anyone who currently is a Medicare member.
Most people qualify for Medicare when they turn 65 years old. Your initial enrollment period is three months before and three months after your birthday month. You may experience a delay in coverage from when it first begins to the date you enroll. Therefore, it is recommended that you sign up for a plan during the three months before your 65th to avoid any gap.
If you are already enrolled in a Medicare plan, here are some of the things that you can change during this timeframe:
- Shifting from one Medicare Plan to another (i.e., Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan)
- Switching to a Medicare Advantage plan with or without an RX plan
- Going from 1 Medicare Advantage plan to a different one
- Adding, changing, or dismissing a Medicare Part D RX coverage
- Changing to a different individual insurance company
During the open enrollment period, there are various things that you may wish to think about. This includes:
- Any out-of-pocket costs you may incur.
- What your prescription drug coverage will be?
- What are healthcare needs right now, and what they will be for the next year?
- What sort of travel plans will you have, as Medicare generally will not cover any trips abroad?
When determining what changes you wish to make to your Medicare plan during open enrollment, you should also understand that all four portions are available during this time.
Original Medicare is known as Part A and Part B. You should take into consideration that these two parts do not cover everything, so you may wish to have Part C and Part D.
Part A is hospital insurance. You will not have a premium as long as you have paid payroll taxes in the past ten years.
Part B is the medical portion. This requires you to pay co-pays, premiums, and deductibles like you would private insurance. The premium in 2024 for this is $174.70 or more, depending on your current income.
Part C is known as Medicare Advantage. Private insurance companies offer this. It is part A and B, along with a prescription drug coverage (part D).
Part D is prescription drug coverage. This is optional and provided by individual insurance companies.
Should you miss the open enrollment period, do not fret. There is a good chance that the plan you are currently on will automatically renew your coverage. There are circumstances that may permit you to make changes at other times during the year. When specific events occur in your life, such as moving or losing another insurance coverage, you are granted the chance to switch. Another instance of switching is if you find a 5-star rated Medicare plan in your area, you are allowed to switch once between December 8 and November 30 of the subsequent year.
If you are near Clearwater or the Tampa Bay area and need a Medicare plan, call Gemini Insurance Company today. They can answer any questions you may have about open enrollment, allowing you a chance to explore all your options to make sure all of your healthcare needs are covered.
Picture Credit: VistaCreate