The annual Medicare open enrollment period starts next Tuesday, October 15. For those currently enrolled in Medicare, this is the time to make changes to your plan. We recommend you review your coverage now to see if it still fits your needs for the coming year. Any changes you make will be effective beginning January 1, 2020.

In addition to deciding whether to change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can make changes to your Medigap policy and Part D Prescription Drug Plan. If you have Medicare but have never enrolled in a Medigap plan or Prescription Drug Plan, you can enroll at this time as well.

For those already on Medicare, you should have received an Evidence of Coverage (EOC) and an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) in September. These documents spell out the coverage you have, as well as any changes that are being made to the coverage, costs, or service area provided under your current plan. These documents will help you decide whether to make a change.

One of the key items you should review is whether the prescription medications you use will continue to be covered under your Prescription Drug Plan. You should review the plan’s formulary, which is a list of the drugs covered under your specific plan. This information can be found on the insurer’s website, but we recommend contacting the insurance company and confirming whether or not the drug actually will be covered.

Open enrollment ends December 7, so don’t wait until the last minute to review your plan and make changes. A good resource to look at is the Medicare.gov website and in particular, this blog post from their website, Get Ready for Medicare’s Open Enrollment, which you can access here on the Medicare website.