The 2021 Medicare Open Enrollment Period is closing soon, which means that you’ll have to wait until next year to sign up or change your Medicare Advantage plan, Part D Prescription Drug Coverage, and Medicare Supplement Insurance.
If you want to see what your options are or change your health cover, now is the time to do it. Read this guide to make the most of the final days of Open Enrollment for 2021.
Fall Open Enrollment starts on October 15th and ends on December 7th every year.
The Open Enrollment Period is a significant opportunity for Medicare beneficiaries to change their health insurance, join a better plan, or shop around for a better deal.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can:
Change to a different Medicare Advantage Plan.
Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage (MA-PD) to a plan without drug coverage (MA-only).
Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan without drug coverage (MA-only) to a plan with drug coverage (MA-PD).
Change from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare.
If you have Original Medicare, you can:
Sign up for a Medicare Advantage Plan.
Join a Medicare drug plan (Prescription Drug Plan).
If you have a Medicare drug plan (Prescription Drug Plan), you can:
Switch Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
Drop your Medicare drug plan altogether.
Drop your Medicare drug plan and join Medicare Advantage.
Here are some of the benefits of using the Fall Open Enrollment Period to change your Medicare insurance.
Firstly, all of the changes you make to your health cover during this period will take effect on January 1st.
Secondly, if you decide not to change your Medicare health coverage before December 7th, you’ll have to wait until next year’s Open Enrollment if you want to:
Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage.
Join a Medicare drug plan if you currently have Original Medicare.
Switch from one Medicare drug plan to another.
Once Open Enrollment ends, Medicare beneficiaries have to wait until January 1st before requesting any changes to their coverage. They will also have to wait until the following month before any changes take effect.
Initial Enrollment Period: Your initial enrollment period is when you first become eligible for Medicare. This will start three months before your 65th birthday month and end three months after your 65th birthday month.
Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: This period runs from January 1st to March 31st every year. During the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, Medicare beneficiaries cannot join a Medicare Advantage plan if they have Original Medicare. However, they can switch Medicare Advantage plans.
Special Enrollment Periods: These are specific enrollment periods that people in unique circumstances qualify for. For example, if your union health coverage ends and you are older than 65.
During Special Enrollment Periods, you’ll get the same benefits as your Initial Enrollment Period.
1. Check to see if there are any new plans or providers in your area. You might find that a company has started offering plans in your county with broader coverage, more benefits, and lower prices.
2. Are you using all of your current plan’s benefits, or would you like to change to a policy that will meet your health care needs? There might be a better coverage option available.
3. Are you happy with your monthly premiums and out-of-pocket costs? Does your Medicare Advantage policy have high deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments?
4. Look at your current plan’s Medicare Star Ratings. Check if it is performing well and if any policies in your area received higher scores this year.
Here’s what the different Medicare star ratings mean:
⭐: Poor Performance
⭐⭐: Below Average Performance
⭐⭐⭐: Average Performance
⭐⭐⭐⭐: Good Performance
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐: Excellent Performance
You can check your Medicare plan and provider’s current star rating by visiting the Medicare website or simply speaking with one of our Medicare agents.
5. Check to see if other health care companies in your area offer similar coverage options and prices. Always compare your options before making a final decision.
6. Speak with a licensed Medicare insurance agent about your current plan and ask them if other options in your county might give you better coverage.
You can find out more about the federal Medicare program by visiting our Medicare Hub.
If you’re interested in changing Medicare plans, the 2021 Open Enrollment Period is a great time to do it.
PolicyScout’s team can help if:
You are looking for providers in your area.
You want to know about different plan options.
You want to find out about $0-premium Medicare Advantage plans.
You’re interested in getting a new Medicare policy.
Our Medicare consultants can also guide you through signing up for a Medicare plan, Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Medicare prescription drug coverage.
Contact us on 1-888-912-2132 or send an email to Help@PolicyScout.com today.