Article from Forbes.com
Choosing the right healthcare plan is increasingly important as you get older. This is how I explain the process to clients so they can get the coverage they need. It’s July, so like me, you’re probably focused on summer plans right now—booking trips, scheduling activities with family and gearing up for summer BBQs. But fall will be here in no time, and that means Medicare’s annual enrollment period is right around the corner. Medicare’s annual enrollment, or annual election period, starts October 15 and runs to December 7. You’ll know it’s here because all of a sudden you start seeing TV commercials during the evening news from insurance companies that want your business.
So what is it, exactly? Annual enrollment is when Medicare beneficiaries can compare their current healthcare plan to other existing plans—plus brand-new plans—and switch things up if they want to for the next 12 months. For instance, during this time you can switch from Original Medicare (Parts A and B) to Medicare Advantage (or vice versa) or stay with Original Medicare and purchase a Medigap policy to supplement your coverage. You may also change your Medicare Advantage or Part D Drug plan (in addition to the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31).
It’s good to shop around and compare plans because you might be able to save money on your prescription drugs or on co-pays. This is one of the major reasons that in a survey of more than 3,000 seniors conducted by Deft Research, some 44% shopped for a new plan during annual enrollment in 2020.
Working in this industry, I’ve been through a lot of open enrollments over the years, and I’ve learned a bit about how to make the process a smooth and successful one. Based on my experience, these are five tips I want to share to help you prepare for this year’s Medicare annual enrollment period.
1) Look Out For Your ANOC
2) Know Your Dates
3) Work With A Broker
4) Be Ready With The Right Questions
5) Understand The Logistics Of Enrolling
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