Senior Advisors are partners of Sax and work to reduce stress for Medicare beneficiaries by providing education, an overview of the choices available, and by making meaningful recommendations for each individual’s coverage.
As the Medicare annual enrollment period starts soon, our friends at Senior Advisors have put together some important things for you to consider at this time.
Reviewing 2022 Plans
The Medicare Annual Election Period will open from October 15 through December 7. For those already on Medicare, the Annual Election Period is the time each year to review Medicare Advantage and/or Part D Plans for the following year. (The Annual Election Period has nothing to do with Medicare Supplements, aka Medigap Plans.)
There are a few tools available to help you review the 2022 Plans:
- Use the Medicare Plan Finder tool on medicare.gov
- Call the Medicare Call Center at 1-800-MEDICARE
- Reach out to a trusted agent (like Senior Advisors) that can assist with reviewing the Plans
Reaching out to a particular insurance company to review the 2022 Plans is not recommended. The insurance company will help you find the most-cost effective option from the few options they have available, and not consider the other 25-30 options available from other carriers.
Prescription Drug Coverage
Each year, there are changes to the Part D Prescription Drug Coverage of Medicare. Some key updates for 2022 are as follows:
- Annual Deductible Limit – increase of $35 from $445 in 2021 to $480 in 2022
- Initial Coverage Level – increase of $300 from $4,130 in 2021 to $4,430 in 2022
- True-out-of-Pocket Limit – increase of $500 from $6,550 in 2021 to $7,050 in 2022
Also, the actual Medicare Part D Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans can change each year (premiums, deductibles, copays, formularies, etc.). There are about 30 different Part D Plans to choose from in each state. Even if your medications list does not change, it is wise to review the Part D Plans each year to ensure you have the most cost-effective Part D plan for the following year.
Navigating the Abundance of Information
For those approaching age 65, you will surely get bombarded with a 130-page Medicare & You Guidebook from CMS, Medicare marketing mailers, Medicare commercials, and anecdotes from friends and family. This can be a very stressful time as the right plan for you is a big decision and there is a lot of information out there.
Here are some typical questions that may arise:
- When do I need to sign-up for Medicare?
- If I am working past age 65, do I have to sign-up for Medicare? Part A? Part B?
- What is Medicare going to cost? What if I have higher income, what will it cost?
- What are the different Parts of Medicare?
- Should I enroll in a Medicare Supplement or a Medicare Advantage Plan?
- How does Part D of Medicare work and what is the “Donut Hole” I keep hearing about?
You do not need to go at it alone. Yes, there is a lot of information out there but the right advisor can help you through it.
For any questions you need answered now, our partners at Senior Advisors, LLC will be hosting educational Medicare webinars in October and November to address them. You can find out more and register for a FREE webinar here.