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October 16, 2019

What to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment 2020

Open enrollment for Medicare for 2020 runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Here is what you need to know about the changes in store for 2020 and more.

What Does Open Enrollment Allow Me to Do?

If you are already enrolled in Medicare Part A or Part B, Medicare open enrollment gives you the opportunity to move to a Medicare Advantage plan, change Medicare Advantage plans, switch back to traditional Medicare or make changes to your prescription drug coverage.

Why Would I Want to Change Medicare Plans?

Insurance companies can make changes to Medicare plans each year. This can affect how much you pay out-of-pocket for monthly premiums, prescription drug costs and deductibles. Insurance companies can also make yearly changes to a plan’s list of covered prescription drugs.

It can be a good idea to evaluate your Medicare plans each year to make sure it continues to meet your needs.

What to Consider When Evaluating Your Coverage

Try a questionnaire: The National Council on Aging has a questionnaire designed to help you compare plans and access Medicare resources. You can also try Medicare’s Plan Finder tool to look over options. The Plan Finder tool has new features that include a drug list builder and added Medicare Advantage plans.

Contact your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): If you’d prefer to talk to a person about your Medicare options, your local SHIP center can provide Medicare counseling and assistance.

Changes to Medicare in 2020

The following changes may affect all beneficiaries or just those enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plan:

Medicare Supplement Plans C and F are going away: If you’re eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020, you’ll no longer be able to purchase Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plan C or F. However, if you’re enrolled in Plan C or F as of 12/31/2019, you’ll be grandfathered in and able to keep your plan as long as you’d like.

You’ll be subject to a deductible: Beginning in 2020, Medigap plans will no longer cover Part B deductibles for new enrollees. In 2019, this deductible was $185 per year.

The Donut Hole will officially close: Medicare used to pay 56% of your generic drugs while you’re in the Donut Hole. Now that the Donut Hole is closing, you’ll be responsible for 25% of the costs. It’s important to note, however, if you need a brand-name drug, Part D will only cover it if your drug manufacturer is participating in the Medicare Coverage Gap Discount Program. If the company doesn’t participate, your medication won’t be covered.

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