| Tue, Oct 18, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Medicare Plan Renewal: Not Deciding Is a Decision

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

medicare-open-enrollment-for-seniorsYour current Medicare coverage renews automatically each year unless you take action to change it. This ensures that you will have continuing coverage.

Automatic plan renewal is easy and convenient. It’s a great way to go when you already have coverage that will fit your needs going forward.

But sticking with the status quo may not be in your best interest. And you won’t know whether it is or not unless you ask some questions.

You may want to start your inquiry with this online tool: Choosing a Medicare Plan. You provide a little information and it gives you a recommendation for the type plan or combination of plans that might fit your needs.

Your result might confirm that the type of coverage you have is a good fit. Then you’re all set, right?

Not necessarily.

Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans may change costs and coverage from year to year. So the plan you let renew for next year may not be entirely identical to the plan you signed up for last year—or many years ago.

Plans may change the premium, deductible, co-pays and other costs you are responsible for. Some providers may no longer be in the plan’s network. Drug lists may change. Original Medicare (Parts A and B) could also have different coverage and costs since the last time you looked.

Your Part D or Medicare Advantage plan will send you an Annual Notice of Change document in the mail. It will outline plan cost or coverage changes for next year compared to this year. Take time to look it over and think about how the changes may affect your health care or costs.

This Medicare Review Worksheet might be helpful. It provides a checklist you can use to help decide how well your current coverage is working. It may also help you identify some things to look for in a new plan if you decide make a change.


You get to choose the Medicare coverage that you think best fits your needs each year during Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7). You may choose to let your current coverage renew. Or you may choose something different. The important thing is to choose.

Related Content

3 Good Reasons to Shop for a New Medicare Plan

5 Medicare Mistakes that Could Cost You


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.


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