Every year, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans can make changes. This includes modifications to benefits, cost, and their network of pharmacies and providers. As a result, people with Medicare have the chance to make changes to their coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP. In 2018, the AEP begins on October 15 and runs through December 7.
How do I know if my plan changed?
If you have Medicare Advantage or stand-alone Part D (prescription drug plan), your provider will send you a “Plan Annual Notice of Change” in September. You can review the changes and decide if your current plan will continue to meet your needs. These changes take effect on January 1st.
You should consider making changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan if your doctor is no longer in its network. Furthermore, if your Part D is removing one of your medications from its formulary, or if the monthly premium is increasing considerably, you can take this opportunity to review other plans.
What are my options?
In addition to doing nothing, you can make the following changes:
- Switch from Original Medicare (Part A and B) to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare
- Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
- Enroll in a Part D plan
- Unenroll or change your Part D plan
What about my Medicare Supplement Plan?
Medicare Supplement Plans (aka Medigap), do not have the same annual election period as Medicare Advantage and Drug Plans. However, if you have a Medicare Supplement Plan you most likely have a Part D, so you should make sure your current Part D is sufficient for your medication needs.
At Stewardship, we help people like you find the best plan for their situation. Fill out the form below to have one of our Medicare experts find a solution for your needs!
Jake is a co-founder and Director of Investing at Stewardship Financial. In his role he gets to help people make smarter decisions on how to invest in the capital markets.