Below is a timely reminder of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period from our friends at The Barnette Agency.
It’s that time all over again. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins October 15 and runs through December 7 (Pearl Harbor Day). Missing those dates can have dire consequences. It is important to remember that Medicare Prescription Drug plans and Medicare Advantage Plans are all under year to year contracts with Medicare. Therefore Medicare Insurance plans, as they are called, can significantly chance each January 1, resulting in big surprises to you if caught off guard.
How do you protect yourself? Be sure to open your mail and read anything you receive from the insurance company you are currently with as well as anything sent to you by CMS (Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services). Your current insurance carrier is required to send an “Annual Notice of Changes” (ANOC), sometimes referred to as a “Renewal Notice”. This notice illustrates changes that will occur in the coming year by comparing the specific benefits affected. In better words, you can compare the 2015 benefits that will change in 2016 and determine how negatively or positively you will be affected. It is important also to look for changes in your Rx formulary ( List of covered prescription drugs). Are your medicines still covered? Have additional restrictions been placed on your particular medicine such as “Step Therapy” or “Prior Authorizations?” Perusing through your ANOC will give you a very important “heads up.”
Should you not receive your ANOC booklet, call your insurance company, CMS, or the professional you have been working with. With just a little extra work you can make the right decisions and obtain the coverage that best fits your needs for 2016.
The Barnette Agency is not affiliated with Social Security Intelligence, LPL Financial, Medicare or with any other government agency.