Medicare Open Enrollment Update

By:
Stephanie Chong

It’s Medicare Open Enrollment Season. Between October 15 and December 7, you can make changes to your current Medicare plan that will be effective January 1, 2023. Darnetta Bascomb, Program Analyst at Senior Medicare Patrol, met with NNV last week to make sense of open enrollment season.

Even if you are happy with your Medicare coverage, open enrollment season is a good time to review your current plan to make sure it will meet your needs next year.

Consider:

Cost: What are the monthly premiums? What is the deductible and co-pay associated with the plan? Do the costs fit your budget?

Providers: Will the plan allow you to continue to work with your doctor, preferred hospital, and pharmacy?

Options: What does your plan cover? Does your plan cover the medications you are or will be taking? Does your plan cover your individual needs?

Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage – What’s the difference?

Medicare – This is the traditional Medicare plan that offers Part A (Hospital Coverage), Part B (Doctor and Outpatient Services) and Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage). Medicare does not cover dental, vision, or hearing evaluation/hearing aids. When compared to the other options, Medicare will offer the lowest monthly premium - the monthly premium will be $164.90 in 2023. There are deductibles and co-pays associated with Medicare so people who have traditional Medicare often opt for a Medigap plan to offset those costs. Savings programs like Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) are available to beneficiaries that qualify. Click here to learn more about Medicare Savings Programs.

Medigap – Medigap or Medicare Supplement Insurance is a private secondary insurance that helps pay for the deductibles and co-pays not covered by traditional Medicare. Dental, vision, hearing evaluation/hearing aids, and prescription drugs are not covered by Medigap.

Medicare Advantage Plans – Medicare Advantage plans offer more options than traditional Medicare, like vision, dental, hearing evaluation/hearing aids, and prescription coverage, even transportation and gym memberships in some cases. Medicare Advantage Plans are run through a private insurance carrier and cost more than traditional Medicare. Patients with Medicare Advantage Plans have just one insurance policy (Medigap is not necessary with this option).

It's very likely that you have been inundated with advertisements for Medicare Advantage Plans. It can be hard to sort out the options. For information on what your current provider has planned for the new year, Medicare beneficiaries should review the 2023 Medicare Beneficiary Handbook, and Medicare Advantage Plan beneficiaries should read through the Annual Evidence of Coverage and Notice of Changes. Contact the DC State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) - 202-727-8370 to review your options or to see if you are eligible for Medicare Savings Programs.

Open Enrollment Resources:

To learn more about open enrollment, including common Medicare scams, click here to watch the What You Need to Know about Medicare Open Enrollment program offered at NNV.

Visit medicare.gov to compare Medicare plans.

For more helpful information, click here to read AARP’s Medicare Enrollment Guide.

Click here to read the current Weekly Update

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