The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is your chance to review your plan’s cost and coverage and compare it to the new plans for the coming year.
“…but if my plan worked for me this last year and nothing changed with my health, should I still bother to review my plan?”
You absolutely should! Even if nothing changed for you since last year, a lot can change about your plan. Each year around September you’ll receive your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) from your carrier. In it they’ll outline all changes your plan will experience in the coming year. These changes can be simple things like small increases to premiums, deductibles, and copay costs. They can also be more complex changes, such as your prescriptions moving to a different drug tier, as well as provider and pharmacy networks shifting.
You can see how reviewing your plan is necessary even if you’re happy with your coverage. With this in mind, let cover a shortlist of what to look for when reviewing your ANOC.
- Have (or Will) Your Health Needs Changed?
A good place to start is reviewing any changes to your health-care needs. Collect a list of all the prescriptions you’ve taken and their dosage for the previous year, along with a list of medical care you may have received. Even if you don’t believe anything will change about your health-care needs, this can help you to project out for the following year what you will likely still need covered by your current plan.
No one is going to know your health needs better than you and your doctor. However, should you find you have questions regarding how your health-care needs may affect, or be affected, by your coverage, we are here to help.
- Have Your Costs Changed?
With your current plan, do you find your health-care costs manageable? Should your premiums or out-of-pocket expenses go up, will they still be manageable? Now that you have a consolidated list of care you believe you will need in the coming year, you can review your ANOC and see if any of your benefits regarding these needs have changed.
Comparing plans and understanding your cost can get a little complicated at times. You can reach out to us with any questions you might have regarding your costs and coverage anytime, absolutely free.
- Are Your Preferred Doctors, Pharmacies, and Hospitals [Still] In Network?
For many individuals, having a specific doctor can be very important; and for many Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans, your choices for providers and pharmacies may be limited.
If you’re unsure whether your provider or pharmacy are [still] in your network, contact us and we can provide you reassurance or a quote for a new plan that has the network you need.
- Are Your Prescription Drugs in the Formulary, and What Tier?
It’s always a good idea to check the copay for your prescriptions each year. Although you may have few prescriptions, should one of them change tiers from year to year, it could easily more than double your out-of-pocket costs. This also applies to the possibility that your prescription is dropped from the formulary entirely. Although should this happen, you will receive additional notice.
Reviewing your plan can be a challenging task to handle each year, but a necessary one. When questions or doubts arise, remember that you can contact us at any time. Whether it be about a simple question, or help to submit your enrollment. We offer free, no-obligation consultations.