Medicare Open Enrollment Is Just around the Corner. Here’s What You Need to Know

Medicare Open Enrollment is quickly approaching. It will begin on October 15th and will run through December 7th, but it’s never too soon to start considering your options. If you’re feeling confused or overwhelmed about your Medicare plan, you can use this as a guide to help you make the best choices for your healthcare needs.

Take a look at three key aspects of your health that you should take into account when choosing your Medicare plan for the next year.

1. Evaluate Your Health and Lifestyle

If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare plan, you may want to use the open enrollment period to reevaluate your healthcare needs to decide if your current plan is still the best option for you. Has anything drastically changed in your life or your medical history over the past year? Has your current plan changed since you signed up? Are there new options now available to you?

These are all questions you should ask yourself to help you decide if you may need to switch Medicare plans or if your current plan still fits your needs and lifestyle.

2. Consider Prescription Drug Coverage

Different Medicare plans offer varying degrees of prescription drug coverage, which is an important aspect of health insurance for many people. If your prescriptions have changed since last year, you may benefit from choosing a different Medicare plan that includes sufficient drug coverage for your changing needs.

3. Understand the “Donut Hole”

The “donut hole” refers to the gap or “hole” in coverage that you may fall into once you’ve reached a certain amount of drug coverage for the year. Once you’ve reached that amount, you will need to pay out-of-pocket for your prescriptions up to a yearly limit. Upon reaching that limit, your drug coverage will begin paying for covered drugs again.

Know that not everyone will enter into the donut hole, and the amount associated with your coverage gap can vary depending on your Medicare plan.

If you’d like additional help understanding your Medicare options, you can talk with a knowledgeable healthcare professional involved in the Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation’s Community Nurse Program, who would be happy to better explain your options.