It’s open enrollment time until December 7, a time of year when seniors can swap out Medicare Advantage plans. However, according to the New York Times, many seniors are overwhelmed by the number of choices and do nothing. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, seniors will be able to choose from 57 different prescription or Advantage plans that include drug coverage. A new survey found that 57% of seniors didn’t review or compare their coverage, with 46% saying they never or rarely visited their plans. Two thirds of beneficiaries 85 or older don’t review their coverage annually.
Senior citizens are complaining to AARP that they are getting calls from Medicare claiming that because of the coronavirus, they were issuing plastic cards now and asking people to verify their Social Security number. These are not representatives of Medicare, these are scammers trying to get your personal information so that they can commit identity theft. Beware!
It’s more important than ever this year that you examine your options for a Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan (Medigap), in particular to see what is covered if you should get the dreaded coronavirus. October 15 to December 7 is the period when all people with Medicare can change their health care plan and prescription drug coverage for the following year. In general, Medicare beneficiaries without some sort of Medicare Supplement Insurance will face Medicare cost-sharing if they contract COVID-19 or have any other health problems. If you do have health conditions and leave a Medigap plan for a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time, you do get a one time 12-month “trial right” to try the Medicare Advantage plan and still have the option to go back to their same Medigap plan without medical underwriting. You can find Medicare plan information or compare plans by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or visit Medicare.gov.