You know what that means! For millions of Medicare beneficiaries with a Medicare Advantage prescription drug or stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is the annual open enrollment period. It’s an opportunity for current enrollees to look at the following year’s Medicare offerings and decide whether to keep their existing plan or select a new one. If no changes are needed, you do not need to do anything. If you do make a change, your new selection will become effective on Jan. 1, 2023.
How many beneficiaries change plans each year? The 2019 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey holds the answers. In 2019, 68 percent of all Medicare Advantage plan beneficiaries reported they did not compare their existing plan to other plan choices in the prior open enrollment season.
This may be a missed opportunity to lower costs and secure more benefits. For example, your existing plan could add or remove certain benefits or raise plan costs. A new offering may offer new features at lower costs.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recommends that beneficiaries review and compare Medicare plans annually. During Medicare open enrollment, you have the opportunity to follow CMS guidance and compare plans. If you are happy with your current plan, just enjoy your Medicare years.