| Thu, Dec 06, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

OEP Is Ending: Do You Have the Coverage You Need?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

oep ending date dec 7 informationThe Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP) ends December 7—that’s tomorrow! This means it’s your last chance to make changes to your Medicare coverage for the 2013 plan year. After tomorrow, you can’t add, switch or drop Medicare coverage until next year—unless you qualify for an exception or there are other special circumstances.

Do you need to make a change?

Time is short. Here’s a quick way to help you decide whether you—or a loved one—might need to make changes to your current Medicare coverage. Think about whether or not your current Medicare coverage works for most of your health care needs. For example:

  • Do you currently have Original Medicare? If so, take a minute to think about whether or not its basic hospital and medical coverage will meet your needs for 2013. If it will, make sure you’ll also have the prescription drug coverage you’ll need (see the next bullet point). If you think you’ll need more coverage or benefits, it might be worth it to check out a Medicare Advantage plan (see the 3rd bullet point).

  • Do you need prescription drug coverage?  If so, you probably have two main options. The first is adding a standalone Medicare Part D plan to your existing coverage. This might be the right choice for you if you already have Original Medicare. You could also consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes Part D prescription drug coverage, if one is available in your area.

  • Do you need benefits like vision, dental, hearing and/or wellness care? If so, a Medicare Advantage plan might be right for you. Medicare Advantage plans include all of the benefits of Original Medicare Part A and Part B.  They may also include extra benefits like vision, dental, hearing and wellness care. And many also include prescription drug coverage.

Be Prepared

Since OEP ends tomorrow, you need to be as prepared as possible when looking at plans. The Medicare.gov plan finder tool offers a quick, convenient way to research Medicare Advantage plans, standalone Part D prescription drug plans and Medicare Supplement insurance (Medigap)1. When you enter your ZIP code and answer a few general questions, you’ll get a list of plans that are available in your area. If that’s all you need, you can enroll in a plan right away online.

If you still have questions, you can contact the plan(s) by phone. When you do, be sure to have questions ready when you call. Here are some questions you might have:

  • Cost Sharing – How much is the plan’s monthly premium? Is there an annual deductible? What are the copays or coinsurance?

  • Hospital Stays – If I have to stay in the hospital, how much would it cost per day out of my own pocket? What are the limits to hospital coverage? For example, would my costs change after I spend a certain number of days in the hospital?

  • Plan Types – Is your Medicare Advantage plan a PPO, where I can pay extra to use outside doctors if I want? Or is it an HMO with a specific network of physicians from which I must select a doctor? If I have a chronic illness (like diabetes or congestive heart failure), is there a special type of plan for my unique needs?

  • Travel – Does the plan cover me if I travel within the U.S.? How about if I go to another country?

Remember: most plans will let you enroll over the phone or on the plan’s website. This can help you make sure you get the coverage you need before OEP ends.

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period ends tomorrow. If you need to add, switch or drop Medicare coverage, you should do it today. The Medicare.gov plan finder is a quick way to review and compare plans available in your area. Act now so you’ll have the health coverage you need for 2013.

For more information, 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. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.


Medicare.gov: Plan Finder tool 

Medicare Made Clear home page: Time is short. Get the coverage you need now. 

Medicare Made Clear: Get help enrolling in a Medicare plan. 


Y0066_121127_100958 CMS Accepted