Medicare open enrollment ends today: Here’s what to know

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Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 to December 7 — and that’s an important deadline for beneficiaries to remember.

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Open enrollment is the time in which current Medicare beneficiaries can make any changes to their coverage, such as adding or dropping a plan. This is a time when people can also switch to Medicare Advantage, which is Medicare-approved health insurance provided by a private company, or choose between Medicare Advantage and a supplemental plan. When beneficiaries make no changes, their current election continues through the following year.

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It is important to choose the proper health insurance, which has been made even more clear by the coronavirus crisis. Health care spending increases every year, especially for older Americans, who may be at risk for many chronic diseases or illnesses.

There are also myriad coverage options under Medicare for people 65 and older — according to Ari Parker, a Medicare consultant and co-founder of Chapter, a company that specializes in maximizing Medicare coverage, with more than 24,000 coverage across the U.S. There are more plan options and healthcare is changing as well. “What we have seen is telemedicine has received more attention,” he said. She and her team work with individuals to find an appropriate health insurance plan, which may include finding doctors in-network who accept $0 copays for telehealth.

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Your Guide to Medicare Open Enrollment: How to Shop, Switch, and Compare Plans

Parker spoke to Businesshala during a Baron’s Live Event About Medicare’s open enrollment period on October 13.

Not everyone needs to make changes to their Medicare coverage, but now would be the right time for beneficiaries to assess how much fees they pay, if they are happy with their current doctors, if there are other healthcare providers. Those who wish to travel that are not in-network and what additional coverage they may need.

Beneficiaries can also compare their current plan with similar options, and ask themselves questions such as “What benefits are covered in these plans?”, “Do I need to get a referral for this insurance?” and “Is my favorite doc in-network if I decide to switch?”

Medicare.gov released guide, called “Medicare and You,” to help Americans through coverage options and plans available nationwide in 2022. one in site Preview For drug plans under Part D and Medicare Advantage.

This enrollment period is different from the requirement for people who have turned 65 to sign up for Medicare. Individuals celebrating their 65th birthday have three months before their birth month, their actual birth month, and three months after their birth month to enroll in Medicare. The penalty for failing to enroll in Medicare without a qualifying excuse can be hefty.

Too Avoid the 10%-per-year penalty for not enrolling in Medicare — know these rules

Most people qualify for premium-free Part A, which is hospital insurance, but those who are not eligible for premium-free service may face penalties, where the monthly premium increases by 10%. . Higher premiums must be paid for twice the number of years the person has not signed up (so after two years the nominee will have to pay higher premiums for four years).

Penalty for enrollment in Part B Late, which is medical insurance, is 10% for every 12-month period for a person who could have Part B but was not enrolled. The penalty lasts as long as someone has Part B. Part D, which is drug coverage, has a penalty equal to 1% of the national base beneficiary premium (in 2021, that was $33.06) multiplied by the number of completed months the person took. It was not covered for this.

There is a separate enrollment period for Medicare Advantage between January 1 and March 31, but it is only available to people who are already covered under this type of policy, Parker said.

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