Open enrollment for Medicare begins on October 15 and continues until December 7, 2019. With the date quickly approaching to select your Medicare coverage for 2020, understanding your choices and what may be best for you is essential.
During open enrollment, you will have the option to make changes to your Medicare plan. You can review the options available to you, which include keeping your current plan, choosing another plan, and adding or removing prescription drug coverage. You have two options during open enrollment if you want to select another plan. There is Original Medicare, which includes Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance). There is also Medicare Advantage (also known as Part C), which, according to Medicare, is a bundled plan and includes Part A, Part B, and Part D (prescription drug coverage). What you need will depend on your circumstances.
Medicare Part A helps to cover the costs associated with inpatient hospitalization, nursing facility care, hospice care as well as home health care. In Original Medicare, you usually won’t have to pay anything for Medicare Part A if you worked and paid Medicare taxes. However, you will likely have to pay for Medicare Part B, which will help pay for doctor services, outpatient care, preventive services and mental health services. In Medicare Advantage, all services are bundled together.
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Original Medicare allows you to go to any doctor or hospital in the United States that accepts Medicare. While you will have hospital and medical coverage, you will have to purchase a prescription drug plan separately. There are some limitations, as well. Original Medicare usually does not cover medical care outside of the United States. If you are traveling abroad, you may want to get a Medigap policy. Such a policy is supplemental insurance to cover you if you need medical treatment outside of the United States.
In a Medicare Advantage plan, you will have Part A, Part B, and will be able to choose other options like prescription drug coverage. Additional benefits under Medicare Advantage include vision, hearing, and dental. A Medicare Advantage plan now offers more benefits the Original Medicare plan including transportation to doctor appointments and adult day care. Like Original Medicare, these plans also generally do not cover medical costs outside the country.
If you would like to keep your current plan, you do not have to do anything during open enrollment, although you may want to review the current plans before making this final decision. There is something else to consider, as well. If you enroll in Medicare Advantage and find that you would like to change your Medicare Advantage plan or enroll in Original Medicare, you will be able to do so during another enrollment period from January 1 to March 31.
During open enrollment, making the right choice is dependent upon reviewing current plans and selecting one that will give you all the benefits you need. If you or a loved one have questions about Medicare open enrollment, contact the knowledgeable attorneys at Bratton Law today.