Taking care of your health is a critical part of your overall well-being. Having the right health coverage, or Medicare coverage for those over 65, will help you get the medical attention you need to stay healthy and active.
If your current Medicare Advantage Plan is not meeting all of your needs or you have too much coverage for your current state of health, then it may be a smart decision to change your Medicare Advantage Plan. This will ensure you have exactly what you need at a price you can afford.
What is a Medicare Advantage Plan?
A Medicare Advantage Plan (usually a HMO or PPO) is an additional choice you have as a Medicare health plan. Medicare Advantage (MA) Plans, also referred to as Medicare Part C Plans, are offered through private companies approved by Medicare.
A typical Medicare Advantage Plan will provide the same coverage as Original Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most plans also include Medicare prescription drug coverage, also called Medicare Part D.
Medicare pays a fixed amount for your care every month to the companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans. These companies must follow rules set by Medicare. However, each company can charge different out of pocket costs for their Medicare Advantage Plans. They also can have different rules for how you get services (like whether you need a referral to see a specialist) and these rules can change from year to year.
Reviewing Your Medicare Advantage Plan
If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan, it’s important that you review your plan each year to ensure that the plan is still the right one for your health needs and budget. Some people discover that from year to year, their Medicare Advantage Plan changes and will no longer fit their needs in the following year. Here are a few things to consider when reviewing your plan:
- Is your plan reducing its benefits or increasing its costs for the upcoming year?
- Will your doctor(s) and preferred hospital still accept your current plan in the following year?
- If your plan includes prescription drug coverage, will all your medications still be covered next year?
- Are you spending more than you anticipated on co-pays, deductibles, or premiums?
- Are you having trouble finding convenient doctors or specialists within your plan’s network?
Making Changes To Your Medicare Advantage Plan
If you’re not satisfied with the company providing your Medicare coverage, you are looking for a replacement for your current plan, or your current Medicare Advantage Plan is not being renewed you only have one opportunity each year to change your Medicare Advantage Plan.
You have two opportunities to make changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan:
1. Medicare Annual Enrollment Period - OEP
This opportunity lasts from October 15th through December 7th. During this period you can add, drop, or change your Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C). Or you can choose to disenroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan and enroll in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Any changes you make will take effect January 1st of the following year.
2. Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period - MA OEP
You can switch from your Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan, or to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone prescription drug plan during this period. The MA OEP occurs each year from January 1 through March 31. Changes made during this period take effect the first of the month following the month you enroll. For example, if you switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan in January, your new coverage begins February 1st.
If you have questions about your current plan, would like to explore your other options, or just want to make sure you have the best plan, call our office and speak to one of our independent Medicare agents. We can help you compare plans and make an informed decision about your Medicare coverage to make sure you get the best coverage for you.
We Are Your Medicare Advantage Experts
As an independent agency, we can offer plans from multiple companies including Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS), United Healthcare (AARP), Humana, First Health, United of Omaha, American Continental, and Bankers Fidelity. So we will shop around for plans that meet your requirements and help you select the company and plan you are most comfortable with.
You have limited opportunities to make changes to your Medicare Advantage Plan, so don't wait! Call us today to schedule your free Medicare consultation.
We offer house calls or office appointments.
Serving Louisville and surrounding areas
in Kentucky and Indiana.