Fall is here and signs of the holiday season are starting to pop-up everywhere. The holidays can be a stressful time, but by taking care of your Medicare needs now you can eliminate a lot of stress later. One thing that no one likes stressing out over is not having the proper health insurance and health care plans in place to meet their healthcare needs. Right now, we are in the middle of the Medicare Advantage & Prescription Drug Plan Open Enrollment period.
This Medicare Open Enrollment period closes on December 7, so the clock is ticking and it’s time to enroll. Below are a few things that will help you get on the right track and get your plan in place quickly and easily so you can have a stress-free holiday.
Open Enrollment Period for 2017: Closes Dec. 7th
Mark this important date down on your calendar today: the Medicare Open Enrollment Period closes on December 7th. During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, you can add any plans you want or you remove plans you no longer need. For more details, and to learn about the key differences between Original Medicare vs Medicare Advantage check out our previous post, Original Medicare vs Medicare Advantage.
Is the Open Enrollment Period the Only Time I can Enroll?
Let’s first clarify a few really important things about Medicare Enrollment. The Open Enrollment Period is the ONLY time of year when you can make changes to your plan. This is period ends on December 7th. If you have already enrolled in Medicare, then now is the time when you could add a Medicare Advantage Plan, or a Prescription Drug (Part D) Insurance plan.
If you are brand new to Medicare, there is a seven-month window around turning 65 where you may enroll. This window is open for only seven months; three months before, three months after, and the month of your birthday. This is the block of time where you can go over your plan with a professional and custom tailor your Medicare plan to suit your specific needs.
The Open Enrollment Period is the best time to get all of this taken care of. There is a great document from medicare.gov that goes into great detail about Initial and Annual Enrollment Periods.
Should I Make Changes to My Plan?
Right now, you still have time to evaluate if you want to make changes to your health insurance coverage or not. A benefit of the Medicaid Open Enrollment is that you can custom tailor a plan to fit your needs. You might want to add some prescription drug coverage. You could add a Part D plan to your Medicare coverage. Maybe you would like to increase your Medicare coverage or roll it into one plan. Selecting and enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan may provide you with all the coverage you want. Now is the time to custom fit a plan to match your needs.
Don’t wait any longer. The Medicare Open Enrollment 2017 period ends December 7th. Right now, you still have time to consider your options and get a good idea of what your healthcare needs might be for next year. Medicare.gov is a good site to research additional questions you may have. There is an extensive FAQ section and some video guides that can provide you with more information.
You can enjoy the upcoming holiday season with a little less stress because you will know that you put your Medicare plans in place!
Tamara Blasi is a Senior Insurance Consultant at My Senior Health Plan with over 10 years of experience working in the Senior Insurance industry. Tamara is a passionate advocate for Medicare and Medicare Insurance options.
Her mission is to provide seniors with honest and non-biased insurance comparisons. Her commitment to the wellbeing of her clients drives Tamara to use blogging to help make Medicare and senior health insurance more accessible for all. To learn more about Medicare Open Enrollment, please visit www.myseniorhealthplan.com.