During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period that runs from October 15 through December 7, you can make changes to your Medicare coverage that will be effective on January 1, 2018. If you're satisfied with your current coverage, you don't need to make changes, but it's a good idea to review your options.
During Open Enrollment, you can:
- Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or vice versa
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Medicare Advantage plan
- Join a Medicare prescription drug plan, switch from one Medicare prescription drug plan to another, or drop prescription drug coverage
The official government handbook, Medicare & You, which is available electronically or through the mail, contains detailed information about Medicare that should help you determine whether your current coverage is appropriate. Review any other information you receive from your current plan, which may include an Annual Notice of Change letter that lists changes to your plan for the upcoming year.
As you review your coverage, here are a few points to consider:
- What were your health-care costs during the past year, and what did you spend the most on?
- What services do you need and which health-care providers and pharmacies do you visit?
- How does the cost of your current coverage
compareto other options? Consider premiums, deductibles, and other out-of-pocket costs such as copayments or coinsurance; are any of these costs changing?
If you have questions about Medicare, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit the Medicare website at medicare.gov. You can use the site's Medicare Plan Finder to see what plans are available in your area and check each plan's overall quality rating.