The Medicare Maze
If you’re 65 or older, or if you have a loved one who is, it’s now Medicare Open Enrollment. This year, the period has shifted earlier in the year, and will end on Dec 7 instead of Dec 31.
So, who does this affect? Anyone who is signing up for Medicare for the first time, or people who want to change their Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plans or Medicare Advantage (the privately run program that wraps up Medicare Parts A (hospital visits), B (doctor visits) and D (prescription drugs) into one plan).
On the Here & Now show, we spoke with a contributing editor from Kiplinger’s who told us that most people don’t end up switching plans, because they like what they have and they don’t bother to check whether things have changed. And boy, can they change.
The biggest issue tends to be for prescription drugs. During the course of the year, plans sometimes drop drugs, or increase the co-pays. So someone could go from paying $20/month for a drug to $40/month! Or lose drug coverage altogether.
The best thing to do is to review your plan. If you want more info, listen to our interview on Here & Now.
My mom’s coming to visit next week, and we have already scheduled time to sit down and review her plans!