Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Today: Here’s What to Know

Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 through December 7 — and that’s an important deadline for beneficiaries to keep in mind.

Open enrollment is the time during which existing Medicare beneficiaries can make any changes to their coverage, such as adding or removing a plan. That’s when people can also switch to Medicare Advantage, which is Medicare-approved health insurance offered by a private company, or choose between Medicare Advantage and a supplemental plan. When the beneficiaries have no change, their current election will resume next year.

Choosing the right health care insurance coverage is crucial, made even more apparent by the coronavirus crisis. Health care costs tend to increase every year, especially for older Americans, who may be at risk for many chronic diseases or illnesses.

There are also a multitude of coverage options for people 65 and older under Medicare, according to Ari Parker, chief Medicare counselor and co-founder of Chapter, a company that specializes in maximizing Medicare coverage, which has more than 24,000 Plan options across the United States and health care are also changing. “What we’ve seen, people are more focused on telemedicine,” he said. He and his team work with individuals to find the right health insurance plan, which can include finding in-network doctors who accept $0 copay for telehealth.

See: Your Guide to Medicare Open Enrollment: How to Shop, Switch, and Compare Plans

Parker spoke to MarketWatch for a Barron’s Live Event about the Medicare open enrollment period on October 13.

Not everyone has to change their Medicare coverage, but now would be the right time for beneficiaries to evaluate how much they pay, if they are happy with their current doctor, if there are other health care providers they want to see. who are not in the network and who may need any additional coverage.

Beneficiaries can also compare their current plan with similar options and can ask themselves questions like “what benefits do these plans include?,” “does this coverage require? Can I get a referral?” and “is it my favorite doctor in the network if I decide to switch?” has released a instruct, called “Medicare & You,” to help Americans sift through insurance options and plans available nationally by 2022. The site also has a preview for Part D and Medicare Advantage drug plans.

This enrollment period is different from the requirement for people who are 65 years old to enroll in Medicare. Individuals who celebrate their 65th birthday have three months before their birth month, their actual birth month, and three months after their birth month to enroll in Medicare. The penalty for not enrolling in Medicare, without a qualifying reason, can be very high.

Also see: Avoid the 10% annual penalty for not enrolling in Medicare – know these rules

Most people qualify for free Part A, which is hospital insurance, but those who don’t qualify for free services could face penalties as monthly premiums increase by 10%. The higher premium must be paid for twice the number of years the person is not enrolled (so subscribers two years later will be required to pay higher premiums for four years).

Penalties for registering to participate Part OFF late, which is health insurance, is 10% for each 12-month period in which the person may have been on Part B but not enrolled. The penalty lasts as long as someone has Part B. Part D, which is drug coverage, has a penalty of 1% of the national base beneficiary’s premium (in 2021, that’s $33.06) multiplied by the person’s full number of months uninsured for it.

There is a separate enrollment period, January 1 through March 31, for Medicare Advantage, but it’s only available to people already covered under this type of policy, Parker said. Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Today: Here’s What to Know


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