Client Education Recap: Medicare's Open Enrollment Period

Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment Period (OEP) ran from October 15 through December 7, 2017. Changes that you made to your plan took effect January 1, 2018. If you made no changes, your current Medicare plan automatically renewed for 2018.

Here's what to keep in mind for next year: Whether you have Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, OEP gives you the opportunity to review your coverage. Original Medicare refers to Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical coverage). You can also enroll in Part D, which provides prescription drug coverage. Part D plans are sold by private insurance companies, and have premiums and deductibles of their own. During OEP, it’s important to make sure your Part D in 2018 will cover all of your prescriptions and is accepted by your pharmacy. There may be a different Part D that does this, but at a significantly lower cost. 

Medicare Advantage, or Part C, are managed care plans sold by private insurance companies, usually HMOs and PPOs. These plans offer the same benefits as Part A and B, and usually D, but under one plan. They have network restrictions and often require pre-authorizations and referrals to see specialists. During OEP, it’s key that you check with your regular providers to make sure they will accept your plan in 2018. Again, it’s important to compare the cost of your current plan against other plans. 

To summarize, you can switch Part D plans, Advantage plans, or from Part D to Advantage (and vice versa) between October 15th and December 7th. We encourage you to review these options with the help of public benefits specialist, Berkley Crain.

Public Benefits Specialist Berkley Crain explains more in this video recap of the October Learning Café on the Medicare's Annual Open Enrollment Period. 

Learning Cafes on Deck

Mark your calendar for upcoming Learning Café sessions including TennCare Redetermination on February 15, Lunch with Barbara on February 27, Dessert with Deb  on March 1, VA FAQs  on March 15, Irrevocable Trust School  on April 19, and Lunch with Pati  on April 24.

Watch for invitations by postcard and email. See the complete Learning Cafe schedule on our EVENTS page.

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