|October 2023||MediGap Advisors Health & Wealth Newsletter||Vol. 19, Issue 10|
Medicare Fall Enrollment Period:
What You Need to Know
This is the time to take a look at your current Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and/or Medicare Part D coverage, and make any needed changes to your plans.
For most people, the Fall Enrollment Period is the only time you have the guaranteed right to change plans without medical underwriting, and regardless of your medical history.
Don’t worry: Most people won’t need to do anything!
Fall enrollment is really for those few people who really have material changes to their plans, who have undergone major life changes such as relocation outside of their Medicare Advantage plan’s service area, or who have received notification that their current plans are being discontinued.
You May Not Need to Take Any Action
First and foremost, for the vast majority of Medicare beneficiaries, no action is needed.
If you are satisfied with your current Medigap, Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Plan D, just sit tight, and continue to pay premiums. Your coverage will automatically renew on January 1st.
There is no need to re-enroll or fill out additional paperwork.
So, if your existing plan continues to meet your needs, you can essentially “set it and forget it.”
Annual Notice of Change Letters
By September, you should have received Annual Notice of Change letters from your Medigap, Medicare Advantage, and Medicare Plan D providers.
These are critical documents that you should read carefully. They will inform you about any changes in your plan for the coming year, such as:
- Modifications to the monthly premium
- Changes to the network of healthcare providers
- Updates to the list of covered prescription drugs
- Other potential adjustments to your plan
If these changes are minor, or if there are no changes, you don’t need to do anything.
If you find that these changes will negatively impact you, then it may be time to consider altering your plan.
Life Changes? Consider a New Plan
Besides changes in your current plan, there may be other reasons to make a switch:
- Relocation: If you’ve moved to a different state or even a different region within your state, your current Medicare plan might not be the most cost-effective or convenient option for you anymore.
- Health Status: If your health has changed dramatically over the past year—for better or worse—you should reassess your healthcare needs and see if your current plan still meets them.
Book Appointments Now.
Remember, the fall enrollment period is a short window, and it’s a busy time for everyone involved in the Medicare system.
If you do decide that you’d like to make a change, or at least explore your options, schedule an appointment with your Personal Benefits Manager as soon as possible.
As the deadline approaches, appointments become scarce, and we expect to get completely booked.
So if your plan still works for you, you don’t need to do anything. But if you do believe you need to make some changes to your Medigap, Medicare Advantage, or Part D coverage, the sooner you lock in your appointment time, the better.
We’re the Experts In Your Corner
Your Personal Benefits Manager is your best resource for navigating the complexities of Medicare.
They can provide tailored advice, ensuring that you choose the plan that offers the most benefits for your specific healthcare needs and lifestyle. Don’t delay in setting up this crucial meeting—availability becomes limited the closer we get to the enrollment deadline.
The fall enrollment period is your annual chance to reassess your Medicare coverage.
However, it’s important to remember the adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
If your current plan still aligns with your healthcare needs and lifestyle, you don’t have to do anything; your plan will automatically renew.
But if life changes have occurred, or you’ve been alerted to modifications in your existing plans through the Annual Notice of Change letters, then action might be warranted.
In such cases, consult your Personal Benefits Manager at your earliest convenience to ensure you make the most informed decisions for your healthcare coverage in the coming year.
Here’s to your health and wealth,
Wiley P. Long, III
President – MediGap Advisors
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