It’s That Time Again, Folks!
Medicare Open Enrollment is through December 7th
Open Enrollment for Medicare began October 15th and ends December 7th. Medicare Advantage plans are a private plan alternative to simple Medicare. Over 22 million people (34% of Medicare beneficiaries) hold Medicare Advantage plans. This year the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a report showing an increase in Medicare Advantage plans, a variation in available plans, and extra benefits that not all beneficiaries receive when enrolled in traditional Medicare.
· The overall number of Medicare Advantage plans increased in 2020 over 2019 – 3,148 plans will be available nationwide in 2020. That’s 419 more plans than 2019. That means more plans will be available to the average person with Medicare and one of them may be better suited to their circumstances than the one they currently hold. More choices, while beneficial, may add confusion to selecting the right plan. That’s why it’s important to walk through the Medicare process with a professional who can help select the plan right for them.
· Variation in plans available – KFF found there will be as many as 60 plans available in some counties while others may have zero. According to the Medicare Rights Center, “Metropolitan counties will have an average of 31 plans, while non-metropolitan counties will have an average of 16 plans”. In all, well over 100 firms will offer Medicare Advantage plans in 2020.
· Extra benefits – Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits that beneficiaries of traditional Medicare don’t have. Many plans offer dental, fitness, vision, and hearing benefits. Some even offer “in-home support, bathroom safety, telemonitoring services, and support for caregivers of enrollees. These benefits may not be available to all enrollees – people should contact plans or read plan materials to find out if benefits they are interested in are widely available or only for a subset of enrollees, for example, people with certain chronic conditions.”(Medicare Rights Center)
While Medicare.gov provides a Medicare Plan Finder to assist you in making the right decision for you Medicare needs, a professional to guide you may ease the process: someone to help make sure your provider and prescription needs are met in the best way possible.
Whether you’re just turning sixty-five and enrolling in Medicare or simply want to make sure your current Medicare Advantage plan is the best for you, choose wisely.