Every year there is a Medicare open enrollment. It is a time that you can shift from the Medicare plan that you are in into one that suits your needs best. So as most insurance companies bombard you with promotions and advertisements in your mailbox concerning the Medicare advantage plans 2021. It is wise to take time and go through the information offered as you can get one with a better deal. If you are already a Medicare beneficiary or you are helping someone like a parent who is a beneficiary, avoid the biggest mistake of not wanting to change and be open-minded during open enrollment. Below are 5 mistakes that you can avoid during the Medicare open enrollment.
Signing up for similar plans as your friend
Among the mistakes people make, signing up for the same plans as your spouse or friend in common. Yet it is not wise to sign up for a certain health plan that people you know recommend to you, and maybe it does not suit you. So even when a friend or neighbor recommends one due to the experience they had, others prefer it due to reputation and sometimes the brand name. Therefore, even though the coverage benefits and customer service bode well with you, they should not be the reason you settle for them. Since no one shares a similar medical history to yours and your health is unique to you in all ways possible. Thus, your medical needs will be different from others, and you need to choose a plan that fits your individual needs.
Avoiding to sign up for prescription drug coverage
Many people avoid purchasing drug coverage with the Medicare plan part D when they are not on medication. The reason for this, however, is because when you finally sign up for Part D, you could face up to a lifetime of late penalties. So if you have an exception, if you are getting good drug coverage from another source like an employer-sponsored health plan, veterans’ health benefits, then you can opt to sign up for the Part D plan without having to face any penalties. So consult with other health plans to see if they meet this standard to make a proper decision concerning signing up for Part D.
Not shopping for a new plan
Although you may think you have a perfect plan as it came at a reasonable cost, covered all the health needs in recent years, and has good customer service. Still, it is a mistake not to shop around for a new plan as you may get a better plan for you in the new year. Go through the various plans available, and you may get one that you feel meets your health care needs. By doing this, you can see how they compare in costs too and choose one that will help you save money the most.
Not reading your plans annual notice
Every end year, your Part D or Medicare advantage plan sends out an annual notice with any changes. This is to show which changes will be in the new year in regards to coverage and costs. Plus, deductibles, coinsurance, and premiums are not cheap, and the prices may go higher come January when the new plan is in place, and you do not want to be caught by surprise. Because of this, if you do not read this notice, you might lose coverage for medications and other services that you depend on regularly, and your out of pocket expenses become more.
Not switching to keep your doctors
If you are in original Medicare, there is no such effect when it comes to doctors during open enrollment as it works the same way all over the country. While those in Medicare advantage and others deal with local networks. Meaning you only use healthcare providers that are in your locality, or you have to pay for their visits out of pocket. Since networks can shift at any time, this can cause a Medicare plan to drop a provider from their network mainly due to contractual requirements. So don’t make the mistake of not switching plans, to keep your doctor. The best you can do is to consider a plan that all your healthcare providers are in the network.