Important: Medicare open enrollment for 2016 ends on December 7, 2015. That means after December 7th you won’t be able to make any changes to your older adult’s health care and prescription drug plans until October 2016.
Save money by reviewing 2016 Medicare plans
Yup, it’s that time of year again. Reviewing Medicare plans for next year isn’t fun, but taking another look at your older adult’s coverage could save hundreds or thousands of dollars.
According to the New York Times, prescription drug benefits are especially important to check. A recent study found that people enrolled in Medicare Part D plans will see a 13% increase in premiums if they keep their current plan. And that doesn’t even take into account whether or not your senior’s medications will still be covered in next year’s formulary.
4 ways to get help with 2016 Medicare Open Enrollment
Comparing plan options can be overwhelming. Don’t worry, you can get free help from trusted Medicare experts. Here are four ways to get help with your senior’s 2016 Medicare Open Enrollment.
1. Contact your local SHIP office
Getting expert advice can save you hours of headaches. The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) give free, in depth, one-on-one insurance counseling and help. A counselor who knows Medicare and Medicaid can guide to you smart options for your senior’s personal situation.
You can trust them because SHIPs are official government programs that are funded by the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Find your state’s SHIP office
2. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging
Call your local Area Agency on Aging and ask if they’re having any public information sessions about Medicare Open Enrollment. They’ll give you helpful information and you might even get a chance to ask questions privately.
Find your local Area Agency on Aging
3. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
You could also call the Medicare office and ask a representative to run a search for plan options and mail you the results. This isn’t the speediest way to compare plans, so call ASAP.
4. Medicare online plan finder
Medicare has an online plan finder and comparison tool. Enter your senior’s zip code, current Medicare coverage, and medications. Then, the tool shows your older adult’s available plan options for 2016.
Be patient, the tool can be a bit confusing to use and displays a lot of information on the Plan Results page. But it’s still helpful to be able to see the plans in your older adult’s local area and get an estimate for how much their medications will cost.
Use Medicare’s online plan finder
As much as you want to avoid it, don’t put this off. Making a change could be worth hundreds or thousands of dollars in savings.
As the December 7th deadline gets closer, Medicare’s phone lines and the SHIP offices will become overwhelmed with people trying to get help at the last minute. Start today and beat the crowd!
You might also like:
— Get Trusted Medicare Advice for Free
— 5 Medicare Myths
— 2016 Medicare Open Enrollment: What You Need to Know
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff
Image: Viva Medicare