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October 25, 2017

Medicare Open Enrollment: What You Need to Know Now

 The Medicare open enrollment period ends Dec. 7, and you may have some questions about whether you should change your plan, what to consider and where you should go for help.

This blog post will provide resources and answers to common questions.

But before you get started reviewing your options, you first should review your current health or prescription drug plan materials. These include things like the Evidence of Coverage (EoC) and the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). If your plan is changing, make sure those changes still meet your needs. If they don’t, consider switching to a different plan. If your plan isn’t changing and still meets your needs, you don’t need to do anything during the open enrollment period.

Common Questions

Do I need to change my plan if I’m happy with it? The open enrollment period is a good time to ask yourself if you’re satisfied with your coverage, according to Medicare. Keep in mind that if you’re satisfied with your plan, your needs and answers might change from year to year, so it’s important to compare plans (which you can do here). When you’re comparing, look for plans that have a 5-star performance rating.

What should I consider when looking at drug coverage? There are many factors to consider with Part D coverage. You should look at:

  • Whether your drugs are available at your preferred pharmacy or if you have to travel elsewhere to get the stated price. You may be able to save hundreds or thousands of dollars by switching pharmacies, notes USA Today.
  • Ask about what restrictions apply. Do you need prior authorization before trying a new drug? And does pricing vary based on the frequency or quantity of your prescription?

When do my changes take effect? If you change plans or portions of your plans, the changes begin Jan. 1 of the following year.

6 Medicare Open Enrollment Resources

I need to review my plan and compare options: Review your current plan and compare it to other options by entering either your ZIP code or more personalized information in these forms.

I’m new to Medicare: Get help deciding what options are best for you by taking this short quiz.

I need to check my Medicare enrollment: Enter your information into this form.

I need to find and compare doctors, hospitals and other providers: Compare options for hospitals, nursing homes, home health, dialysis facilities, long-term care providers, inpatient rehab, doctors and other health professionals, health and drug plans and hospice care, and find out where to get covered medical items here.

I need drug coverage or want to find out more about drug coverage: You can get drug coverage through Medicare’s Prescription Drug Plan — Part D — or through the Medicare Advantage Plan. Get answers to what drug plans cover, how Part D works with other insurance, costs for Medicare drug coverage and more here.

I need to talk to someone: You can call one of the numbers listed here for additional assistance, or you can contact the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) at 1-800-686-1578. OSHIIP also has more information available on its site.

Long Term Care Insurance


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