Dec. 7 Deadline To Choose Your Medicare Enrollment Approaches — What Are Your Options?


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Each year, the Social Security Administration’s Medicare program offers an open enrollment period that gives beneficiaries a chance to review their current coverage and decide what to change. That period is currently ongoing and will run through December 7, 2022.

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Your main focus during open enrollment will be deciding which type of coverage best suits your current health needs and financial situation. Making the right choice can save hundreds of dollars in savings, but you’ll need to do your homework.

“Most people don’t pay much attention to the open enrollment period and that can come at a cost,” Tricia Neuman, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation and executive director of the Program on Medicare Policy, told the AARP in an interview. .

The most popular option for seniors is Original Medicare, which, according to the SSA website, includes:

  • Medicare Part A (hospital insurance): This helps pay for inpatient care at a hospital or skilled nursing facility after a hospital stay. It also pays for certain home care and hospice care services.

  • Medicare Part B (medical insurance): This helps pay for services from doctors and other healthcare providers, as well as outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and certain preventive services.

Other parts of Medicare are administered by private insurance companies that follow rules set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. You may want to pursue these options if Original Medicare doesn’t cover enough of your healthcare needs. For example, under Part B, you are responsible for 20% of the cost of a doctor’s visit or lab test.

Here are other Medicare options to consider during open enrollment. Keep in mind that these may incur additional costs, although they may ultimately save you money in the long run:

  • Medigap: This is an additional insurance policy that helps pay for Medicare co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

  • Medicare benefit (formerly known as Part C). This includes all benefits and services covered under Part A and Part B (such as prescription drugs), along with additional benefits such as vision, hearing and dental care. With MA, they are all bundled in one subscription.

  • Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage): This helps cover the cost of prescription drugs.

If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you don’t necessarily have to make a move during the regular open enrollment period that is currently underway. There is also a special open enrollment period for those who already have an MA subscription. As the AARP noted, the special open enrollment period for MA runs from January 1 through March 31 each year. During this time, you can switch from one MA plan to another or to the original Medicare. If you switch to original Medicare, you can also get a standalone Part D drug plan.

You also get a second chance to apply for part B if you miss your initial enrollment period. A general subscription period runs from 1 January to 31 March. Your cover starts on the first day of the month after you sign up.

As for the current open enrollment period, you’ll want to review a few things before making your final choices on or before December 7.

For example, if you’re considering switching from the original Medicare plan to a Medicare Advantage plan, the AARP recommends making sure your health care providers are covered by the MA plan’s network. Also keep in mind that some MA plans require referrals to specialists or require prior plan approval for certain diagnostic tests and other services.

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If you switch back to Original Medicare from an MA plan, you may not be able to get Medigap that will allow you to pay out-of-pocket costs under Original Medicare. Even if you can get Medigap, it can be expensive.

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This article originally appeared on Social Security: December 7 Deadline to Choose Your Medicare Enrollment Approaches – What Are Your Options?

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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