As we approach Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period — which will take place October 15th through December 7th — we would like to encourage you to review your current coverage.
Although you may feel that your healthcare situation has not changed significantly and that your existing policy should remain in effect, it is important to sit down with your advisor each year to review your coverage and confirm that it will not only continue to meet your current healthcare needs but that it is also the best fit to respond to your future healthcare needs.
Your health is constantly evolving, meaning that your healthcare needs this year may not be the same as your healthcare needs last year. If you’ve developed a new acute or chronic condition, your advisor can help you shop around for a plan that will provide you better coverage for your increased demand for care. If your health has improved, let us work with you to explore lower-cost plan options.
Even if you feel your health has remained constant, you may be spending more out of pocket on care than you need to with your current plan. Your advisor will reassess your plan to ensure you are still receiving the highest amount of coverage available to you given your current situation.
You may not know this, but the formularies — or list of approved medicines that may be prescribed to plan holders within each Medicare plan — change from year to year. During your appointment, your GIS advisor will review the formulary for your current plan to make sure that all of your prescriptions are still covered at an affordable level. If there have been changes to your plan’s formulary that affect your coverage or medication costs, your advisor can help fit you with a more suitable plan that may save you money in the coming year.
If your prescriptions have changed from the previous year, switching to a new plan may also save you money. Different Medicare plans offer coverage for different medications
, so it is always worth it to check and see if you can get a better deal. For example, your current plan may cover a new medication , but it may be in a higher tier than your previous medication, meaning it would cost more out of pocket for you.
However, there may be another plan available that also covers the medication but that has it listed in a lower tier, meaning you will have to pay less out of pocket. If you have switched from a name brand version of your medication to a generic alternative, you may want to explore a lower monthly premium plan. Your advisor will review any prescription changes with you and assess whether a different plan might be a better fit.
In addition to reviewing your prescriptions, your advisor will review the pharmacies included in your current plan network. Because your Medicare plan typically requires you to purchase from in-network pharmacies, it is important that your plan network includes at least one or two pharmacies that are located nearby. If you are going out of your way to pick up prescriptions or waiting long periods for prescriptions to come in the mail, you might consider switching to a more accommodating plan.
Even if you are not currently taking any medications and don’t anticipate you will have any ongoing prescriptions in the coming year, it is always worth it to connect with your advisor and explore lower-cost options for your Medicare plan. If you are still taking prescription medication but the number of prescriptions has decreased, it is worth having your advisor assess a potential switch.
Each plan under the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and Prescription Drug banners are designed to accommodate a unique healthcare situation. We have clients come in all the time that have been recommended a specific plan by a friend or family member only to discover through their advisor that another plan is actually a better fit for their situation.
We know that sifting through all of the Medicare plan alternatives yourself can be downright daunting, which is why we’re always here to help. Your advisor is familiar with the options available to you and can quickly help you identify the plan that will provide you with the greatest return on your investment of Medicare premiums this year.
Remember that the Annual Enrollment Period — October 15th through December 7th — is your opportunity to change your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan. This is why we stress the importance of meeting with your advisor now to determine if you need to make a switch. Don’t wait. Connect with us to book your appointment today.
A Michigan City native, Jillian studied Athletic Training at Manchester College before gaining experience in the Healthcare industry for the past 10 years. Her experience in health care serves as an asset to her clients as she advises on individual life and health insurance plans as well as Medicare assistance. When she isn’t assisting her clients, Jill volunteers her time with Arise and Shine, a non-profit dedicated to providing a path to self-sufficiency for those in La Porte County struggling to afford basic needs. In her free time, she enjoys playing softball, crafting, and spending time with her friends and family.