As we look to say goodbye to the fall weather and enter the holiday season, you likely have many items on your to-do list to complete prior to year-end. If you are age 65 and older, don’t forget one important item to review during this time – your Medicare coverage! That’s right, its Medicare’s fall open enrollment from October 15th – December 7th. You may be asking, “Wait, we are already signed up for Medicare. What does the annual Medicare enrollment period mean for me?”
Great question. While some individuals use this period to initially sign up for Medicare coverage, it also provides an opportunity for all individuals covered by Medicare to review their coverage and make sure that they do not need to make any changes for the upcoming year. For example, do you know if your Medigap (supplemental) Medicare coverage costs are changing in 2021 and if so, is this still the best plan for you? Is there a better or a more cost-effective plan available? This is also an important time to make changes to your Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) if you started taking new medications this year that are not covered under your current Part D plan.
For more information about the different parts of Medicare and contact information for our local Medicare office, please see our previous blog entitled: Signing up for Medicare soon? Here are some resources.
For those under age 65 and in need of health insurance, November 1st through December 15th is the open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act for 2021. To learn more about how to sign up for one of these Marketplace healthcare plans, you can visit https://www.healthcare.gov/apply-and-enroll/get-ready-to-apply/.
We would recommend having this insurance review as part of your annual fall to-do list after you sign up for Medicare. If you do find that your insurance costs are increasing, remember that we included a higher health insurance inflation rate in your retirement plan and update those financial plans for you at least annually. Happy Fall and Open Enrollment Period!
Kim Butler, CFP®
APCM Wealth Management for Individuals