Open enrollment can be overwhelming. If you aren’t familiar with open enrollment, it’s a period of time from October 15 – December 7 when you can review and change your Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare is complicated and there are many factors involved in finding the best plan for you. Here are a few tips to help you through open enrollment.

Start Early

Just because open enrollment starts on October 15 doesn’t mean that you should wait until then to start thinking about Medicare. You should receive an “Annual Notice of Coverage” in the mail prior to the start of open enrollment. Get a head start by reviewing your existing policy and thinking about other options.

As you start looking into everything, you may uncover questions you need to find the answers to. Don’t wait until the last minute. By getting started early, you will have enough time to get all of the information you need to make an informed decision. Remember, if you miss open enrollment you will have to keep your current plan for another year.

Think About What Has Changed

There are a few reasons you would consider changing your Medicare coverage. A review of the Annual Notice of Coverage will tell you what changes your current insurance plan has made.

Think about what has changed in your situation over the past year. Are you on any new medications? Have you been diagnosed with a medical conditions? Has your financial situation changed? Have you moved? Any of these changes in your life can affect your needs and determine which Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans are right for you.

Do Your Homework

Think ahead. What healthcare services are you anticipating that you will need in the next year? There may be other options available to you that better fit your current situation.

Do some research to find out what other options are available. Compare the costs and benefits to your existing plan to determine which plan is right for you.

When thinking about the costs, remember that it’s not just about the monthly premium. Take copays, coinsurance, and deductibles into account as well. With regard to benefits, make sure that you can continue to visit your current doctor, take your current medications, and use your preferred pharmacy before deciding to change plans. Any changes you make will go into effect on January 1.

Open enrollment is a time to take a step back, reevaluate your situation, and explore your options. You can do all of this yourself, or you can call HealthMarkets and let us do the legwork for you. We’ll search a variety of plans from nationally recognized companies to find the coverage that’s right for you, at a price that fits your budget. Best of all, we do it at no cost to you. Visit HealthMarkets or Call (800) 488-7621.

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