A Little Medicare Research Could Mean Big Savings

October 15 is an important date for a lot of people. Whether you’re currently enrolled in Medicare, will enroll soon or are a caregiver for a Medicare recipient, you need to do some homework during Medicare open enrollment, which begins October 15, 2014, and runs through December 7, 2014.

Even those who plan to keep their current Medicare coverage should make sure they review their options before making a final decision. Changing health plans and/or health needs may mean your current plan is no longer the best option for you.

Your options during Medicare open enrollment (not to be confused with Affordable Care Act open enrollment, which begins November 15) include switching between original Medicare and a privately managed Medicare Advantage plan, selecting a new Medicare Part D drug plan and choosing a new Medicare Advantage plan.

As you research your options, pay close attention to policy pricing. On average, premium increases for 2015 are expected to be moderate. Some Medicare Advantage plans are seeing double-digit increases, for instance, while other plans’ premiums are falling. Deductible and copay requirements may have changed as well. That’s why it pays to do your homework.

Fortunately, if you’re already enrolled in the Medicare Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll automatically receive a notice from your insurance carrier of any changes to the plan. When you review these changes, look for modifications to your plan’s drug coverage, pharmacy network, provider directory, out-of-pocket maximum, deductible, premium and copays.

Spending some time researching your Medicare options is well worth it. If you find a plan that offers better coverage and pricing for your specific needs, your investment of time could help you reap big rewards.


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