| Wed, Oct 07, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Should You Change Your Medicare Plan?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

medicareYour mailbox may be filled lately with Medicare information and plan offers. That’s because Medicare Open Enrollment starts on Oct. 15. It ends on Dec. 7. This is your chance to change your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan (Part C) for the upcoming year.

You might be tempted to toss all the Medicare mail you get and forget about open enrollment. Or you can view it instead as a reminder to review your current coverage and think about what you might need going forward.

Should you make a change during Medicare Open Enrollment? Here are some tips to help make that decision.

Read Your Annual Notice of Changes

Your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan will send you an Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC). The document will explain plan benefit and cost changes for the upcoming year, if any. Read your ANOC carefully. Some things to look for include:

  • Will your monthly premium payment be higher, the same or lower?
  • Is your doctor or pharmacy still in the plan network?
  • Are your medications still on the plan formulary? In what tiers?
  • Are there changes to your deductible, co-pay or co-insurance amounts?
  • Are there any other benefit changes that may affect you?

Consider Your Health Care Needs

Some things you can’t predict, but you can plan for the things you know. A recent diagnosis or a planned surgery, for example, may mean you need to see a specialist. Or your doctor may have prescribed a new medication. Changes like these may mean your Medicare plan needs to change, too.

Be Aware of Your Budget

Health care costs may be a big part of your budget. There may be cost increases in your current Medicare plan for next year. If so, think about how comfortable you are with the changes. If it starts to feel tight, you may want to look at other plans. You could also check to see if you qualify for help paying for Medicare.

Be Proactive

Your current Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan will automatically renew for next year if you don’t do anything. The coverage will go into effect on January 1.

Keeping your current plan may work for you. Just remember that you have choices. It could pay to shop around.


Once a year you get to choose your Medicare coverage for the following year. Should you switch? The choice is yours.

Related Content

Get Help Choosing a Medicare Plan (online tool)

Medicare Plan Review worksheet (pdf)

Not Sure What Kind of Medicare Coverage You Have? It’s in the Cards (article)

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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