What You Should Know About Medicare Annual Enrollment 2021
Medicare Annual Enrollment Is Just Around the Corner!
It’s the end of summer and what commercials are constantly playing again? Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement commercials from carriers and agencies. Almost every advertisement promises those “Extra Benefits that you are entitled to…”.
OK folks. Let’s slow this down, just a little bit. Yes, Annual Open Enrollment begins October 15th and runs through December 7th. This is the time when a Medicare beneficiary can choose a plan effective for January 1st.
(Brand new Medicare beneficiaries during this time have different rules)
Every year, Medicare approves plans that are offered by sponsors, otherwise known as insurance carriers. These plans go through rigorous approval processes and are allowed to be viewed by the general public on October 1st.
To wade through all these new plans, your best method of obtaining the correct information in regards to networks, cost-sharing and extra benefits (just to name a few) is your Medicare broker/agent. Although the plans are published for the public to view, there are many features that can be misunderstood or misinterpreted. This is where your agent/broker comes into the picture.
Did you know that your Medicare broker or agent has to be re-certified each year through many hours of product knowledge and CMS training just to be able to present these plans to you? Did you know your agent/broker can present these plans to you on October 1st but you just can’t sign up for it until the 15th? You get 15 days to talk to your agent/broker before the enrollments begin – that’s a good thing!
Get that list together on what you want in a Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug Plan, or Medicare Supplement plan (see our July 2021 blog for more details)! There are many changes this year to plans and the ANOC (Annual Notice of Change) for Medicare Advantage plans that you received in the mail from your insurance carrier should highlight any and all changes.
If you don’t have a broker/agent, please find one, preferably us (wink, wink). They are held to a high standard by CMS and must disclose certain information to you as well as correct information. An ethical broker/agent will listen to what you need and drill down to find the best plan for you in your area.
If you are a Medicaid recipient as well as a Medicare beneficiary, you should find a broker/agent who specializes in Dual Special Needs Plans. You will be happy you did.
So, once again, that time of the year is approaching very quickly. This year will be an amazing year!
Are you turning 65 this year? Read this blog post to learn what you need to know about beginning Medicare.