3 Simple Ways to Change Medicare PlansPosted by Medicare Made Clear
It would be nice if Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plans could magically morph to meet each person’s changing health care needs or budget over time. You could pick a plan once and be done with it! Alas, that is not the way it works.
You are the authority on what you need in a Medicare plan. Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7) is the time to put that power into action. You may decide to stay with the plan you already have. But you may find a plan you think may fit better with your needs.
If you decide to change your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan for next year, here are three hassle-free ways you may do it.
1. Contact the Insurance Company Directly
Many insurance companies have an online enrollment feature on their web sites. You can research and compare Medicare Advantage and Part D plans offered by different companies, then enroll if you find a plan you like.
Some web sites provide an online chat feature that allows you to exchange messages with a company representative in real time if you have questions or need help.
If you prefer, you may call the company customer service number. A representative can help you enroll over the phone.
2. Contact Medicare
Medicare’s Plan Finder is an online tool that allows you to learn what Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are offered in your area. You may do a general search using only your zip code or a personalized search using your Medicare number and other basic information.
The more information you put into the Plan Finder the more detailed the results can be. You can enter the medications you take, for example, and get an estimate of your drug costs with each plan. You may then select specific plans you’re interested in and view plan details like costs, provider networks, and more, side by side.
The Plan Finder provides links to each plan site where you can go for more information or to enroll. You may use Medicare’s web site to enroll in a plan now if you already know which plan you want. You may also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for help.
3. Contact a Licensed Insurance Agent
Insurance agents offer personalized service in your local area. It’s their business to help you find and enroll in a Medicare plan based on your individual needs.
Some agents are independent and represent multiple Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans. Others are employed by an insurance company to represent only that company’s plans.
It’s important to find an agent you trust who understands your needs and concerns. You may want to get recommendations from trusted sources in your community and then meet with a few agents to help decide who you might want to work with.
It may not be magic, but you might be amazed by how easy it is to enroll in a new Medicare plan if you decide to. Remember, Medicare Open Enrollment is Oct. 15 – Dec. 7.
For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.
This blog was updated on November 15, 2018.Tags: Changing Medicare Plans, Medicare Coverage Questions, Medicare Renewal