Tips for Making Decisions during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period

DOs

  • DO  make sure you know what you have, and why you have it.
  • DO  make sure you understand when enrolling or making changes. Some health plans sell Medigap policies, Medicare Advantage Plans and Medicare Part D drug plans.
  • DO  decide if you want a change for next year. If you do nothing during the open enrollment period, you will automatically be renewed for the next year in whatever plan you are in.
  • DO  watch your mail - - changes in your current plan will be sent before October 1
  • DO  choose a Medicare Part D drug plan based on the drugs you are taking.
  • DO  use Medicare’s internet tool for comparing drug plans, www.medicare.gov, or ask for help from Medicare 1-800-633-4227 (24/7), SHIP office 1-877-801-0044, or a trusted pharmacist. 
  • DO  guard you Medicare and Social Security cards and numbers 

DON’Ts

  • DON’T  do anything if you are happy with the way things are and there are no changes to your current plans. 
  • DON’T  worry about the Affordable Care Act Health Exchange Marketplace, it does not apply to people on Medicare. 
  • DON’T choose a Part D drug plan just because your neighbor did. Annual costs for prescriptions and coverage can vary, depending on your medications.
  • DON’T  pay more than you have to. There is Medicare assistance available for people with low income and limited resources. For more information about the Medicare Savings Program or Part D Extra Help, visit www.medicare.gov, www.ssa.gov or call 1-800-624-5547, 1-800-238-1443, 1-877-801-0044. 
  • DON’T   worry about the open enrollment period if you are a resident of a nursing home, recipient of Medicaid. Extra Help, or Medicare Savings Program. These are some of the people who receive a Medicare Special Enrollment Period and can make changes throughout the year. Also, if new to Medicare, you will be given an initial opportunity to make choices.
  • DON’T’ fall for scams.

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