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Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Reasons to review your coverage


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It’s only a few more days until you can make sure that 2022 Medicare covers your needs.

This program’s open enrollment period for fall, which started Oct. 15, closes Dec. 7. While you aren’t required to take action — your 2021 plan generally would renew for next year — experts recommend determining whether your current coverage remains your best option.

According to A, 67% of the beneficiaries had not reviewed their plans as of November, but that number is still high. MedicareGuide.com survey. Similar to Kaiser Family Foundation’s recent findings, 71% don’t openly explore their options when they enroll.

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Juliette Cubanski is the deputy director of Kaiser’s Medicare program policy. She said that it can come as a surprise to people who believe they are happy with their plans.

The annual window can be used to change or add coverage on an Advantage Plan, such as Medicare Part C and prescription drugs (PartD). Changes to your coverage can be made Jan. 1, and you have the option of adding or dropping these parts.

Most beneficiaries are affected by fall open enrollment in some way, depending on the coverage that they choose. For example, out of the Medicare 63.3million enrollees there are 26.7 million who choose to have their Part A (inpatient) or Part B (outpatient) benefits provided through Medicare. Advantage PlansPrivate insurers offer these plans. They are most likely to include Part D.

Rest of the population will continue to receive original Medicare (Parts B and A) but may also have a Part D plan. Others also receive a Medicare supplement plan.aka, MedigapPrivate insurances may also provide this service. 

The standard Part B premium in 2022 will increase from $148.50 to $170.10, while it is currently $148.50. However, higher earners pay monthly surchargesFor Part D and Part B premiums, see the charts below.

The average monthly premium for Advantage plans will be $19 next year, down from $21.22 in 2021, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Average Part D Part D monthly premiums will increase to $33.27 from this year.

You may need to adjust your Advantage Plan to include monthly premiums or copays as well as deductibles and coinsurance. 

Additionally, “providers may opt in or out of a network plan, or the cost of a prescription drug may be higher or lower, or may no longer be covered,” said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans. 

If the Advantage Plan that you chose is not right for your needs after fall enrollment, you may change between January 1 and March 31. Switching to another Advantage Plan, original Medicare or a standalone prescription plan would allow you to do so.

However, during the early year window you cannot switch between your Part D plans.

According to Danielle Roberts (co-founder of Boomer Benefits insurance company), Part D plans may be discontinued.

Your insurance company might terminate your enrollment in any drug plans that are being discontinued. [move you]Roberts stated that they would be glad to help them with any of the other drugs plans.

According to her, there may be instances when the other plan has a substantially higher premium.

Roberts stated, “You don’t want to discover this in January when you can’t change your standalone Part D prescription plan.”

Mike Robinson
Mike covers the financial, utilities and biotechnology sectors for Street Register. He has been writing about investment and personal finance topics for almost 12 years. Mike has an MBA in Finance from Wake Forest University.