By: Jeff Richardson
The annual open enrollment for Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans [Part D] begins October 15th and ends December 7th.
As much as we all are creatures of habit it may be in your best interest to resist just staying in the same plan because plans change every year and that could cost you thousands.
Here are three things you should do between now and open enrollment to save yourself some money…
One: Learn the finer details of your plan.
This month keep an eye out for the annual notice of change [ANOC] letters from your Medicare plan.
The ANOC informs you of the changes to your plan for 2021 including coverage, costs, premiums, deductibles, and copays.
There is more to managing your costs than just reviewing your premiums. Review your medical expenses for the last year and get a list of the doctors you see regularly and the medications you take.
Two: Review your plan with your Both Hands FG agent.
In some areas there are over 30 different plans so comparing them all yourself could be a challenge. That’s why you need to set up a time to visit with your Both Hands FG agent to review your current plan and review all the plans for next year.
We will confirm the medications you’re currently taking and the doctors that you regularly visit and see if you should stay on your current plan or switch to a new one.
We do these reviews for a few reasons. One: you likely want to keep going to your doctors so we are going to make sure that can happen. Sometimes plans make a change and that means your doctor may no longer be in network and thus would not be covered by your plan.
Two: your current plan could have either removed your medications from their formulary or changed their tier level which would result in much higher drug costs for next year.
You don’t want to go to the pharmacy and realize that your medication costs have gone up and at that point you would not be able to make a change.
One of our agents saved over $150,000 for all of his clients. Here’s one of our happy clients…
Three: Don’t pay for things you don’t have to.
Many of these plans that you can sign up for during the annual enrollment period offer freebies.
Things like free gym memberships or some handsome benefits for hearing aids, glasses, and dental benefits.
So don’t pay for any of these things if you don’t have to. These do vary based on where you live so make sure to ask your agent what freebies are available in your area.
Now is the perfect time to schedule a call with your agent to do a Medicare Review. If you want to be proactive you can complete and send the attached Medicare Planner to your agent and they will start your review as soon as the new plans become available on October 1.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeff Richardson is one of the top Medicare advisors in Ohio. He and his wife, Lynn, work together to help their clients find the right plans for their needs. Jeff and Lynn enjoy traveling and spending time with their grandchildren.