It’s the time of year to have a Medicare check-up with them, says this expert.
Just like it’s a good idea for your clients to have an annual check-up for their health, it’s prudent for them to have a yearly Medicare check-up to ensure that coverage will work when folks need it and not break the bank.
The best time of year for everyone in Medicare to have that check-up is in the fall during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). The AEP cycle started Friday, October 15, and ends Tuesday, December 7, for coverage that goes into effect on January 1, 2022.
The Medicare AEP is an opportunity for everyone on Medicare to reevaluate features of their Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, and Medicare Part D, prescription drug coverage.
Of note, some Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are consolidating 2021 plans into different 2022 Medicare plans with potentially other, more expensive plan coverage and less effective coverage. In addition, specific 2021 Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are discontinued in 2022. As a result, Medicare beneficiaries presently in these plans will not have Medicare Advantage or Part D coverage as of January 1, 2022, unless they take action to enroll in new coverage.
“Your clients look to you as a source of guidance in so many aspects of their financial lives. Medicare and related healthcare expenses are no exception.”
Nearly all (90% to 95%) of beneficiaries overspend on Medicare. That’s a startling statistic. The most common reason beneficiaries overspend is they purchase Medicare Part C (Advantage) and Part D (prescription drug) plans that do not meet their individual healthcare needs.
People tend to buy based on premium and overlook the benefits they use. Couples often purchase the same plan when they would be better off with different insurance coverage. Individuals may not realize the total cost of their healthcare until the new plan year has started, and then it is too late to make a change. Adding to the complexity is that all of these plans vary down to the county and zip code level!
All plans announce new pricing and benefits every fall. However, cost increases may not be in the premium but in other out-of-pocket costs, such as increasing deductibles; medications in a higher, more expensive drug tier; and greater use of co-insurance, as opposed to co-payments.
I advise that your clients do a Medicare check-up if any of the following happened to themselves or those they care for this year.
Medicare Changes Ahead May Cost Your Clients, Dr. Katy Votava, Rethinking65