Right now is the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare recipients. This is the only time when plans for prescription drugs and Advantage Plans can be changed. Even though beneficiaries are happy with the current plans, it is a good idea to check into what changes have occurred in the market.
There are a number of ways to evaluate your needs. If you are not that great on the computer, the easiest way is to contact an insurance agent who specializes in Medicare products and have them evaluate your drugs against the available plans on the market. You should not have to pay for this service since insurance agents are paid by the insurance companies. In fact, legally, the only ones who can charge for consulting are financial planners.
The only way to tell which insurance company is going to give you the most coverage for the least money is to compare which plans are in the market where you live. If you are computer literate, it is a simple project to go to Medicare.gov to find the best drug plan. Just make sure it is Medicare.gov; there are other web sites that are not official Medicare and do not provide the same information. After you put in your zip code, you have the opportunity to put in the drugs you take and the dosages. You can then provide the name of the pharmacy you prefer. The program will bring up a list of all the insurance companies with how much it will cost for the year.
It is possible to evaluate Advantage Plans the same way. The web site shows the star ratings of the companies and will allow you to enroll right then.
Because you may have had life style changes, or changes in your health status, and the insurance companies you are with may have made changes to their formularies and coverage policies, it is imperative to re-evaluate your plans every year. One disappointing fact for people who are good at researching on the internet is that you cannot go to an insurance company web site and find the information you want about rates. There is a good reason for this, it is a complicated subject and most of the time you really do need to talk to an agent to make sure the information you get is the information you want!
Please note that if you have Medigap Supplement plans, you usually do not need to change them unless the premium costs have gotten out of hand. If you have a poor health history, you have the chance to change supplement plans with a guaranteed issue situation each year in the month of your birthday in Oregon.
Make sure you know the difference between supplement and Advantage Plans. Ask if you have questions! It really is not you! The whole Medicare scene is confusing and difficult to understand. Find an insurance advisor you can work with comfortably and then ask questions until you feel you understand the issues and can make good decisions that will give you the coverage you need at an affordable cost. Then you have a year to go before it needs to be done again!