October 15 through December 7 is Medicare Open Enrollment, the time allotted for medicare beneficiaries who have a private health or drug plan to review and make any changes to their plans. Even if you are happy with your current plan it is recommended that you review your plan to make sure there aren’t any changes. All adjustments made during Medicare Open Enrollment go into effect on January 1, 2014.
If you are currently enrolled in Original Medicare and are considering a private plan or a drug plan, now is the time to enroll. The Medicare Rights Center provides these questions to consider before enrolling in Medicare Advantage or adding a prescription drug plan:
- Will I be able to use my doctors? Are they in the plan’s network and are they taking new patients who have this plan?
- Which specialists, hospitals, home health agencies and skilled nursing facilities are in the plan’s network?
- Who can I choose as my Primary Care Physician (PCP)?
- How much is my monthly premium?
- Do I need a referral to see a specialist?
- Are my prescription drugs on the plan’s formulary (list of covered drugs)?
- Does the plan require that I get “prior authorization” before my prescription will be covered, or impose other restrictions (like limiting the quantity or requiring that I try a cheaper medication before it will cover a more expensive one)?
- How much will I have to pay out of pocket before coverage starts (what is the deductible)?
- How much will I pay for brand-name drugs? How much for generic drugs?
- What service area does the plan cover?
- What kind of coverage do I have if I travel outside of the service area?
Visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE for learn more and review the details of your plan options.
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