Every year, Medicare Part D’s open enrollment period provides beneficiaries the opportunity to update their plans. It is also a chance for newly eligible seniors to sign up for coverage. Adding a Part D plan to your Medicare coverage offers beneficiaries more choices and increased access to medicines. The six-week enrollment period began in mid-October, and ends on Dec. 7.
It’s been 15 years since the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act was signed into law, leading to the creation of Medicare Part D. Since then, the program has been wildly successful, with recent polling showing that 85 percent of seniors were satisfied with coverage.
Even if you are one of the many satisfied enrollees, it’s a good idea to review your selections each year as insurance companies can make changes to plans. Additionally, research shows that you can save $300 or more annually by reevaluating your selections.
If you’re in the market to make a switch, here are a couple things you should keep in mind:
- If you’ve got Medicare Part A or B, you can sign up for Part D. During the Open Enrollment period, anyone who has already signed up for Part A or Part B is eligible to sign up for Part D. The National Council on Aging has a great page with a lot of information and FAQs.
You’re not stuck in a Part D plan. You can change your plan from year to year with no penalty. If you’re
looking for some different types of coverage, consider visiting the official Medicare Plan Finder to compare plans.
- Enrollment ends on Dec. 7, but coverage starts on Jan. 1, 2019. The Open Enrollment period from Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, 2018 is the time for you make adjustments and changes to your plan, but keep in mind that any adjustments you make will go into effect at the start of the New Year.
Evaluating a plan, or signing up for Part D for the first time, can help expand coverage options for America’s seniors. So even if you’re not eligible yourself, take a moment to remind the seniors in your life to take advantage of this opportunity to review and assess their plans before the season is over.