Whether you have just turned 65 years old, or are about in the next few months, it is important that you are well educated on all Medicare coverage options as the enrollment deadline approaches. Many aspects of Medicare coverage such as prescription prices, premiums and other mandates change year to year, so if you are a newbie, you’ll want to do your research early.
Medicare’s 2017 Annual Election Period (AEP) opens on October 15 and ends on December 7th. Applying for Medicare can be daunting but you definitely don’t want to wait until the last minute and miss the deadline which can result in a pricey penalty. To help prepare for AEP, keep these 5 tips in mind:
1. Compare Plans. Not all plans are treated equal. Think about elements that are important to you such as proximity and customer service. Being able to talk to a live person right in your neighborhood to address all your Medicare needs can be very helpful.
2. Reputation Matters. Go online and see what others are saying about the plans you are considering. Hearing from people just like you will help you make a decision on what plan is right for you.
3. Pay Close Attention to Your Medications. The prescriptions and pharmacy of choice are two very important elements when choosing a plan. You want to make sure to know the costs of the prescriptions you need, what pharmacy will carry them and how much you are expected to pay.
4. Call Your Doctor. Odds are, you like your doctor and want to keep him/her. Give them a call and ask them what Medicare plans they are dropping or adding in 2017. If you have a favorite doctor or office, this will help you narrow the options you ultimately choose.
5. In Case of an Emergency. Going to the emergency room or a hospital stay could mean a big hit to your wallet. Make sure to check the costs for these items in the plans you are considering ahead of time so you are well prepared if an emergency were to occur.
Your health is the most valuable asset you have. So, as you plan to enroll for Medicare, do all your research early on to avoid undue stress, penalties and armed with the necessary information to choose what is right for you. There are Medicare Specialists at each of the Inter Valley Health Plan Medicare and Information Vitality Centers to answer any questions and help guide new enrollees on the necessary steps. If you are interested in learning more about signing up for Medicare this year, join Inter Valley Health Plan for our Medicare Step-by-Step classes. Please visit firststep.ivhp.com.