What to Remember as Medicare Open Enrollment Approaches

What to Remember as Medicare Open Enrollment ApproachesAre you or someone you love enrolled in Medicare? Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment Period is approaching. Here, we will discuss four things to keep in mind as you enroll yourself or assist your loved one.

  1. Eligibility: Seniors who are 65, and some individuals younger than 65 with a qualifying disability, are eligible for enrolling in Medicare.  If you are already enrolled in Medicare, the Open Enrollment Period is quite possibly the one time during the year when you can make changes to your plan. You will receive multiple notifications in the mail about the Open Enrollment Period deadline and the different available plans, or you can visit www.medicare.gov to review this information online.
  2. Coverage: Traditional Medicare includes Part A (hospital services), Part B (outpatient services and preventative care), and Part D (optional prescription drug plan).  Medicare Advantage (also known as Medicare Part C) covers some services not covered by traditional Medicare but limits you to a smaller network of providers.  The Open Enrollment Period is the time for you to switch from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage and vice versa.  You can also swap Medicare Advantage plans during this period or drop or add a Part D prescription drug plan if you have traditional Medicare.
  3. Shop Plans Each Year: Every year before the Open Enrollment Period begins, Medicare plans send out written notifications of any changes that will be made in the next year.  Make sure you review these materials closely, and compare available plans based on your medical needs for the next year.  You should also confirm that your current doctors are still “in network” under your plan, otherwise you may need to switch plans to stay with your doctors or switch doctors to stay within your current plan.
  4. Medicare is not Medicaid: While some coverage overlaps and individuals can be eligible for both, Medicare and Medicaid are different healthcare plans with different eligibility requirements and purposes.

With Medicare Open Enrollment approaching, our office is here to help you see to it that you have the best Medicare plan for your own circumstances. Please call the Law Offices of Clifford M. Cohen at (202) 895-2799 to schedule a time to meet.