You can apply for Medicare several different times in the year. It is always advisable to start looking at the different plans that are available as soon as you turn 64 so that you have ample time to choose a cover that will take care of you. That said, there are times when seniors will apply for certain coverage only to realize that they are not happy with it.
What can they do then? That is when the Medicare open enrollment period comes in; it is a time for those who want to change their coverage to do so, and it usually runs between 15th October and 7th December.
Making changes to your coverage may not be as easy as it sounds, and since you don’t want to make any mistakes the second time around, here are some tips to guide you:
Tip #1: Know the Changes You Want to Make
First, what is it that you are not happy with in your current coverage? In order to know what changes you want to make, you have to know about the different plans of Medicare and what they have to offer. Keep in mind that the changes that you can make are limited. You can switch from Medicare Part C to Original Medicare (Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B), switch to Original Medicare from Medicare Part C, change Medicare Part C plans, also known as Medicare Advantage plans, change Medicare Part D (prescription drugs) plans or enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan when you’re on Original Medicare and in need of one.
Tip #2: Go Through Your Annual Notice of Change
Next, your healthcare provider must send you an Annual Notice of Change by September 30th. It contains all the amendments that have been made to the different plans in the current year, and these changes will affect anyone who wants to alter their coverage. If you haven’t received your Annual Notice of Change, you should contact your Medicare provider for the relevant paperwork.
Tip #3: Make Sure Your Prescriptions Are Covered
Lastly, make sure that you are switching to a plan that covers the drugs that you need. The drugs that are provided are changed every year and you may switch from one plan to another only to find that although it is beneficial in certain ways, you are not able to receive the drugs that you need.
If you are confused about what you should do during Medicare open enrollment, you should talk to a professional like us at Medicare On Video. We strive to make Medicare open enrollment easier for everyone.