The open enrollment period for Medicare is now open and runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. While there may not be any major changes in store for traditional Medicare or Medicare Advantage plans in the coming year, it’s still wise for seniors to review their coverage to make sure it meets their unique needs.
“There aren’t any real big changes coming up, but it is still a good time to look over your plan and also to see what’s out there in the market,” said Margaret Thornburg, vice president of customer service for Moda.
But why now? Because it’s the open enrollment period for Medicare, when seniors can pick a new plan or choose to stick with what they have.
When considering plans, Thornburg said it’s important to make sure your doctor accepts the plan you choose. Not all doctors are included in all plans. It’s also wise to ensure a plan covers the prescription medications you use.
Thornburg said the government’s tools for finding and comparing plans – available at www.medicare.gov – can help people choose the plan that works best for them. Various options on the site allow people to compare plans, including costs and coverage, based on different benefits and features.
Another consideration is the availability of Medicare Advantage plans, such as those offered by Moda. They include vision, dental, hearing and even telehealth options. These days, many Medicare Advantage plans offer access to telehealth services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which can be a much-needed convenience.
“You want to have some flexibility,” Thornburg said. “I think we all found out about that over the last year-and-a-half.”
For more information or for assistance choosing a Medicare plan, Thornburg recommended visiting www.medicare.gov, www.modahealth.com/medicare or the Oregon Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program, a statewide network of trained volunteers who assist people with Medicare.