Friday, February 3, 2023

The Medicare Stretch

You’re almost there! You’ve just about made it to the end of the Medicare Annual Enrollment period. The incessant calls, mailings and TV commercials will soon quiet down… at least until next fall!

It’s always a pleasure to meet new seniors as they age into Medicare, and this season we’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds of you navigate and customize your Medicare.

Before the enrollment window closes on December 7th, let’s quickly review a few important points.

  • If you want to move from one advantage plan to another – Enroll by December 7th
  • If you want to move from one Part D RX plan to another – Enroll by December 7th.
  • If you want to move from a Medicare Supplement to Advantage – Enroll by December 7th.
  • If you want to move from one Supplement to another – There is no deadline.

Further complicating things, seniors who have Advantage plans enter a new enrollment window on January 1st called “Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment.” This is different from the period we’re in now, which is called “Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.” From Jan. 1st – Mar. 31st, seniors enrolled in a Medicare advantage plan can make changes.

  • You may: Switch to another Advantage plan (maybe you found out your doctor isn’t in network)
  • You may: Move back to Original Medicare
  • You may: Move back to Original Medicare and pursue a supplement (must qualify medically for a supplement). If you move back to Original Medicare, you can apply for a Part D drug plan.

Here are a few of my takeaways from this season:

Prescription drugs continue to be a challenge for seniors. Lack of generics and price gouging are costing beneficiaries dearly. We did see some relief with insulins for 2023, which is great.

Medicare Supplements are solid as a rock. Supplements are easy to use, there are no network concerns, and they pay the bills. Customer satisfaction is very high on these policies.

Insurance companies continue to push Medicare Advantage plans. This is where they can really make some money. Review these plans carefully and figure out where the holes are. Nothing is free in this market, so educate yourself on potential out-of-pocket costs.

Every time I sit down to write one of these articles, I’m reminded again how confusing Medicare can be. It’s no wonder seniors are often frustrated and overwhelmed this time of year.

I sincerely hope you have a blessed holiday season, and I hope your Medicare isn’t something you’re worried about. If I can help you in any way, I will try. You can always visit us at 2604 Long Prairie Road or call my team at 800-750-2407. God bless.

(Sponsored Content)

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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