If your current Medicare plan isn’t working for you, you can change your coverage during select times of the year, known as enrollment periods. These are specific windows that you should mark on your calendar each year. If you miss one of these periods, you may have to wait until the following year to make changes to your policy. Let’s talk more about how and when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage.
Changes Won’t Take Effect Right Away
If you do end up making changes, they won’t go into effect immediately. There will be a delay in coverage, which is something that’s important to keep in mind. That’s why it’s essential that you think in terms of the future and anticipate any changes that you may want to make.
Many people change their coverage because of various health concerns, conditions, or new or unexpected events. Your health is important, and it’s crucial to make changes as soon as possible if it’s currently within one of the enrollment periods.
Understanding Your Medicare Coverage
Medicare is health insurance that was created for those in retirement. If you’re going to be losing your employer group health insurance, Medicare is an excellent way to make sure that you still have coverage and won’t have to cover your medical bills entirely out-of-pocket. Enrolling in Medicare is simply the right decision to make during retirement, as it could save you thousands of dollars if you end up needing extensive care.
With Medicare, you can choose how to get your coverage. Original Medicare provides you with inpatient hospital and outpatient medical insurance. If you currently receive Social Security benefits, then you’ll be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare around the time of your 65th birthday. If this happens, then you’ll receive an enrollment packet in the mail with details about your new coverage and the different resources that you now have.
Medicare Advantage (Part C) is a packaged alternative to Parts A and B. It will always have the same coverage as Original Medicare, with additional benefits for those that would like to have coverage for dental, vision, hearing, wellness programs, transportation to appointments, etc. Many Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage. If you’re interested in joining a plan, you can contact an insurer directly (Anthem, Humana, Ciga, etc.) OR you can talk to an independent broker like us. We know all the ins and outs and can give you personalized support that you don’t get from the typical carrier.
If you’re enrolled in Parts A and B, you can join, switch, or disenroll from a plan during Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). For instance, here are some things you can do during this important window:
- Join or drop a Medicare Part D drug plan
- Switch to a Medicare Advantage plan
- If you have an Advantage plan, you can drop it and return to Original Medicare, OR switch to a different program.
- If you have a Part D plan, you can switch to a new one, OR opt out of Medicare prescription drug coverage altogether.
AEP is from October 15 to December 7, and your agent will make sure you’re fully informed on your options before it’s time to make a decision.
Reach Out to an Expert!
If you’re wanting to make changes to your Medicare plan, reach out to a professional that can provide one-on-one support. At Mangini Family Insurance, we take the time to fully understand each client’s situation so we can gain a better picture of their insurance needs and which policies would work best for them.