Medicare Open Enrollment for your 2017 plan is from October 15 to December 7, 2016. Before you make a selection, here are some resources to help you compare your options.
Medicare provides a tool where you can compare options before you make a decision. You can find it at this link.
The information you need is:
- Your Medicare number
- If you have a Medigap or Medicare supplement plan, the name and type of the plan
- Your zip code
- A list of your medicines prescribed by each of your doctors
- The name and location of your preferred pharmacy
You can search through options using your specific information or you can do a general search. I highly recommend you perform a search with your specific information at least once before you make final decisions. That will give you the best look at your anticipated likely costs.
The tool will walk you through step by step.
- It starts with your zip code and information from your Medicare card.
- Enter your current Medicare coverage type. Include whether you get extra help paying for your medication costs.
- Enter your prescribed medicines. Include the strength, whether you get your medicine every month or every 3 months, and whether you get your medicines from a local pharmacy or a mail order pharmacy.
- Be sure to include all of your medicines
- If your doctor has talked about maybe starting new medicine, include these, too. This will make sure the plan you choose will cover all of these medicines.
- Select your pharmacy. Note, if your pharmacy doesn’t show up at first, expand the number of miles from your home so that your pharmacy will be on the list.
- You can then choose whether you want to compare medication only Medicare D plans, Medicare Health Plans with drug coverage, and Medicare Health Plans without drug coverage.
- If you aren’t sure, select all three options
- If you know which you want to compare, select just that option
- A list of all options will appear on the next page. They appear in order of cost with the lowest annual cost option appearing first after Original Medicare. You have the option to select different sort options.
- Select three plans that you want to directly compare.
- The three options will be displayed side by side.
- You can compare three at a time as many times as you want.
- All costs for the year include deductibles, co-pays, gap payments, and other fees will be displayed.
- Look at your total annual cost
- Look at the deductible which is money you will pay at the first part of the year
- Look at the projected money you will pay in the coverage gap
To look at your options with Medigap plans, you can go to this link. This one will let you compare types of Medigap plans and their costs.
NOTE – A friend, and expert in the field, clarified that Medicare Advantage plans can be purchased at any time. Her comment: “Medicare Supplement policies do not have an annual open enrollment, but changes can be made based on your health after your original open enrollment or a special enrollment period.”
If you have any questions about how to use these tools or how to compare your options, please contact us at www.medsmash.com/contact.
For further application, check out my personal blog.