Each year from October 15 through December 7 is the Medicare Open Enrollment period. This is an important period of time even for those seniors who are perfectly happy with their senior insurance plan. October 31 is the date each year when we are supposed to check the battery in our smoke detectors.

The Medicare Open Enrollment period is the event each year when seniors should review their insurance and check out changes to other insurance plans.

What Can You Change?

Every year the plans change and some offer more benefits while others increase the costs for services. That is especially true of the Prescription Drug Plans. During the Medicare Open Enrollment Plan, you can change prescription drug plans (Medicare part D plans.) You may also change from one Medicare part C plan to another; these are also referred to as Medicare Advantage plans. If you have opted for Medicare part A, you can also switch to a Medicare Advantage plan during the open enrollment period.

So far, the Medicare Open Enrollment period offers seniors a lot of opportunities to change.

Those include:

  • Changing from one prescription drug plan to another. You can also discontinue your prescription drug plan. If you do so make sure that you read through the Medicare penalty section so that you avoid penalties.
  • Changing from one Medicare C plan to another.
  • Changing from Medicare A to a Medicare C plan.

Those are just a few of the options that seniors have during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Other options include dropping a Medicare Advantage plan and moving back to Medicare A and B. For seniors who are not happy with their prescription drug plan the Open Enrollment Period is the best time to change plans. You can even move from an Advantage plan with a built in drug plan to an Advantage plan without a drug plan. If you do so, you will need to choose another prescription drug plan, or face being penalized. There are plenty of stand-alone prescription drug plans available for those on Medicare.

Prescription Drug Plan Review

A good chore for all seniors during the Open Enrollment Period is to review the drug formulary that is offered by your current plan. Each year, the list of drugs that is offered changes. A good tip is to check to make sure that any prescriptions that you use remain on the formulary. If you notice that some of the medications you take are not being offered or if they have been moved to another tier then consider changing to a different drug plan that offers all of your medications at the preferred price. This can be a tricky process, especially when trying to figure out how deductibles work and out of pocket costs work from one tier to another. If you need help or have questions about any of the changes, options or terms, just call Connect One Health.

We are here to help seniors understand their options and sometimes to discover options that they might have missed. We offer our services free of charge. Our goal is always that you are happy with the insurance options you have chosen.