The holidays may be around the corner, but there is no better gift than taking care of your health, or the health of the ones you love, first. Once a year, all Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare plan from October 15th until December 7th during the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Even though enrolling in a Medicare plan may seem overwhelming, the experts at MedicareHealthPlans.com are here to help and have narrowed down the steps needed to prepare for this critical time of the year. Here are just a few things to consider before enrolling during AEP.
1. Review your current insurance situation and determine if changing plans is right for you
Enrolling in a Medicare plan during AEP may impact your coverage if you have existing insurance coverage through your employer. Your employer can hike your premium rates, drop benefits, or even cancel coverage once you enroll in a Medicare plan. Make sure you speak with your employer to ensure there aren’t any hiccups in the process. Suppose you have insurance coverage outside of your employer (Marketplace or Medicaid). In that case, there may be an opportunity for both insurances to work together to cover your health bills. Reach out to your current insurance company for specific details of your plan.
2. Find out if you qualify for Medicare benefits
If this is your Medicare starting line, determine if you’re eligible for Medicare benefits through multiple outlets—by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY number 1-800-325-0778), visiting your local Social Security Office, or visiting Medicare.gov. If you are turning 65, you can find out if the government automatically enrolled you in Medicare Part A and how to enroll in Part B, which has a standard monthly premium of $164.90 for 2023.
3. If you’re enrolled in Medicare, review your plan, including coverage and cost
If you are already signed up for Medicare, ensure your current plan is up to your health standards. Make sure current or new prescriptions are covered, your premiums didn’t go up, and you have the necessary vision and dental coverage. If these benefits are not up to par, it may be time to change your Medicare plan. Regarding Medicare Advantage plans, coverage and costs vary year over year.
4. Determine your work, retirement, and social security situations
Are you planning on working past your full retirement age? Are retirement funds sufficient for what you want your lifestyle to be for the next few decades? How are you going to approach your Social Security benefits? Figure out your life choices in advance, and you’ll be well prepared once the Annual Enrollment Period begins.