Medicare open enrollment for Parts C & D for the calendar year 2016 runs from October 15 – December 7, 2015. This means that any changes you want to make to your Medicare Advantage Plans and/or Prescription Drug Coverage must be made during this time.
Medicare Open Enrollment Webinar
The NCOA is holding a free webinar on November 4th 11am-12:30pm (1pm-3:30pm Eastern Time). You can register for free here. This free webinar will help explain any changes or information you may need in order to make an educated decision on choosing the right programs for you or someone you love who is currently or going to be on Medicare for 2016.
Beware of Medicare Open Enrollment Scams
There are a number of scammers preying upon those who are now able to make changes during their Medicare open enrollment period. Here are some tips as provided by the NCOA, regarding scams during this open enrollment period.
- Confirmation is a must! Never respond to mail, calls or inquiries until you have confirmed that they are legitimate.
- Keep your Medicare card and information private; don’t share any of the information on your card with people who call to inquire about your information.
- Trust your original gut feelings about anything that just seems too good to be true or seems slightly off.
- Verify any information you’ve received by asking everything about them, include asking for their company name, address, phone number and the full name of the person contacting you.
- Report any possible scams to your local authorities or online via the FTC Complain Assister.
Medicare Open Enrollment Tips & Facts
- Making Changes – During Medicare open enrollment you can switch plans on your Part C & Part D portions of your plans. If you’re happy with the plan(s) you have then you don’t need to do a thing.
- Medicare Advantage Plans – Approximately 28% of Medicare clients are also enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans. These plans help defray costs associated with your Medicare Part A & B and are provided by private healthcare coverage companies. (Nov 1 begins Medicare Open Enrollment for supplemental insurance)
- Dropping a Plan – If you don’t “LOVE” your plan you can drop it up until Valentine’s Day or February 14th.
- Medigap – Medigap is a private insurance that works hand in hand with Medicare; however, you are generally only guaranteed acceptance within the first 6 months of receiving Medicare. After the first 6 months of receiving Medicare, Medigap can be denied based on health reasons.
- Quality is Important – While most will shop around during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, remember that quality is very important. The CMS provides quality ratings for insurances that meet certain high quality standards.
- Check Medications – If you are currently on many medications, it is a good idea to check the “Formulary list” to ensure that the medications you are currently taking are covered. If they are not, you may run into costly challenges at the pharmacy.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help during the Medicare Open Enrollment period; it can be a confusing time. We provide a list of directories and helpful links on our Regional Center Services page that may help.
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