October 15th marks the beginning of open enrollment for those with Medicare, and runs through December 7th with coverage starting at the top of 2014.
This will be the time to review your coverage, modify or change your plan however you see fit, because it’s also the time when companies release their benefit and premium information for the coming year. How do you know if you need to change coverage? Well, if during the course of this year, you’ve switched medications or been diagnosed with a medical condition you may want to think about at least modifying your coverage to reflect that change.
Some other factors you may want to consider:
- Additional health insurance, if you have any coverage you should see what, if anything is overlapping.
- Cost, probably the most important factors to the majority of us. Be sure you take into account deductibles, copays, premiums and yearly limits on payments for services.
- Medical providers. Depending on your medical conditions, be sure the choices of providers you’re given is taken into account.
- Medications, as mentioned above, if you see that your medications have changed over the past year, or anticipate them changing in the coming year, you should think about modifying your Medicare coverage.
- Quality of care, in other words, how satisfied are you with your current coverage?
- Convenience. Are the providers you’re using available to you when you need them?
- Travel. One factor not many people take into consideration, but be sure if you do enjoy traveling, your coverage travels with you.
Changes you make during this enrollment period will take effect on January 1st of 2014.
In a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, more than 78 percent of Medicare enrollees who didn’t take advantage of this period to switch to another plan, paid on average 5 percent more in premiums than they had in the previous year.
Take advantage of this opportunity to change your plan and save money in the process. Give us a call to see how we can help.