What You Need to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment

The annual Medicare open enrollment period will be opening shortly, which means that now is the time to prepare yourself for the changes on the horizon and any requirements for enrollment.

Medicare Open Enrollment 101

This year, the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period will last from October 15-December 7. During that enrollment period, new enrollees and current enrollees will be able to make alterations to numerous parts of their coverage. What can you do?

  • Change your enrollment from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa
  • Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • Change from one Medicare Part D (prescription medication) plan to another
  • Add a Medicare Part D plan if you did not do so when you were initially eligible, but you might be penalized for late enrollment  

What Are the Requirements to Enroll?

In order to be eligible for enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan, you:

  • Need to be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B
  • Must reside in the service area for the plan
  • Cannot have End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)  

Will Your Plan Renew Automatically?

If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Part D prescription plan and you are not interested in making any changes for 2020, you do not need to do anything during the open enrollment period unless your plan is not being offered again. If your plan is not being offered again, your carrier will give you advance notice before open enrollment starts. It is important to remember that your premium or benefits might change next year, even if you stick with the same plan.

What Changes Can You Expect?

There are always numerous changes whenever open enrollment arrives, and some of the most notable that have been announced so far include:

  • Medigap plans that cover Medicare Part B deductibles are no longer available to newly-eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
  • The gap in coverage between generic drug costs and what Medicare Part D would cover is being closed, and the hole for brand name drugs has already been closed. Enrollees will now only pay up to 25% of the cost for brand name drugs (30% last year) and 37% of the cost of generic drugs (44% last year).
  • Medicare Advantage plans will continue to be refined and changed before the enrollment period opens, so it is critical to read the fine print.  

Prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment Now

At Senior Care Lifestyles, we specialize in facilitating the connection between seniors and the right in-home care, assisted living and senior living communities. We have assisted hundreds of families with finding effective and affordable solutions for loved ones. Get in touch today by calling 410-977-3718!

Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Deborah Bakalich, Certified Senior Advisor®
Owner, Certified Senior Advisor (CSA®) & Assisted Living Placement Specialist - Senior Care Lifestyles, LLC provides compassion, guidance and recommendations to families faced with transitioning a loved one into Assisted Living, Dementia/Alzheimer’s Care, Skilled Nursing, Temporary Respite Care or a Continuous Care Retirement Community. Senior Care Lifestyles was founded in 2014 by Deborah Bakalich, a Certified Senior Advisor and graduate from both Towson University and Stevenson. Senior Care Lifestyles is uniquely positioned as a local (not National) Maryland based placement firm familiar with Maryland senior care facilities and in-state financial assistance programs for senior residents. They meet personally with each family to understand the seniors care needs including medical, personal lifestyle preferences, budget, religion and desired geographic location. They pride themselves in locally guiding and educating families through the entire maze of senior living options available and will schedule tours on behalf of the family and accompany the family on visits of communities. They are passionate and committed to finding the perfect match to call home and stays with the family throughout the entire process, every step of the way, until a decision is made, and the senior is safely moved into their new home. Senior Care Lifestyles can also provide the family with trustworthy, vetted, and reputable experts to assist with the transition for organizing, packing, moving, sale of real estate, estate planning, legal services, and determining eligibility for State, Federal and Veterans Benefits to assist with care costs. Deborah is a proud member of the Maryland Senior Resource Network (MSRN) where she has served as Vice President on the Board of Directors. She is a member of the Alzheimer’s Organization, Society of Certified Senior Advisors, Mid-Atlantic Network Group and a member of the Business Opportunity Network (BON).

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