MEDICARE enrollment season is approaching, and many experts say they believe it promises to be a turbulent one — “a perfect storm,” said Paul Gada of Allsup, a provider of Medicare plan selection services.
Medicare open enrollment begins November 15, and experts already are saying this season it may be more confusing and difficult to make the best choices for your situation. According to The New York Times, in some areas there will be dozens, even hundreds of coverage options.
The system is changing rapidly, in part because of new requirements imposed by the new health care law.
Here is a quick overview of some of the key issues you should consider:
- Many private insurers this year are consolidating their Medicare offerings and closing some policies. If you are in one of the closed plans, you should receive a notice in the mail this month informing you that you will have to make a change. If you’re not sure, check your insurer’s website.
- Even if your Medicare plan stays in place or you’ve opted for traditional Medicare, it’s important to review that policy.
- Average premiums for Medicare Advantage expected to decrease slightly and premiums for Medicare Part D plans are expected to remain stable – but there may be changes in your coverage. Make sure your plan is still the best one for you.
- Preventive Care – under the new health law, Medicare must now pay 100 percent of the cost of annual physicals and other kinds of preventive health care.
For more information, and assistance, visit the Medicare website. You’ll find the new Medicare & You 2011 publication available to download, and an interactive online tool to help you find the Medicare Plan that’s best for you.