October 17, 2020 – The Open Enrollment Period for Medicare started this week and runs through Dec. 7. It is an important event for eligible people not currently enrolled in the plan, or who want to change some component of their current plan.
During Open Enrollment, eligible people can sign up for Medicare. Medicare beneficiaries can compare coverage options like Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and choose health and prescription drug plans for 2021.
Medicare Plan Finder. Medicare health and drug plan costs and covered benefits can change from year-to-year. CMS urges Medicare beneficiaries to review their coverage choices and decide on the options that best meet their health needs. CMS has redesigned its Medicare Plan Finder makes it easier for beneficiaries to:
- Compare pricing between Original Medicare, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policies;
- Compare coverage options on their smartphones and tablets;
- Compare up to three drug plans or three Medicare Advantage plans side-by-side;
- Get plan costs and benefits, including which Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits;
- Build a personal drug list and find Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage that best meets their needs.
- Free, personalized counseling on Medicare options is also available through the nonprofit State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.
Highlights for 2021 Open Enrollment include:
- A 34 percent decrease in average monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage plans since 2017. Beneficiaries in some states, including Alabama, Nevada, Michigan, and Kentucky, will see decreases of up to 50 percent in average Medicare Advantage premiums. More than 4,800 Medicare Advantage plans are offered for 2021, compared to about 2,700 in 2017. Similarly, more Medicare Part D plans are available, and the average basic Part D premium has dropped 12 percent since 2017.
- Medicare beneficiaries can join a prescription drug plan that will offer many types of insulin at a maximum copayment of $35 for a 30-day supply.
Note: Most of the above information is from the Medicare.gov website. For more about see Medicare Open Enrollment.
For further reading: What Is Your Medicare IQ
Comments? Have you used the Medicare Plan FInder? Did you find it helpful, or not? Please share your experiences below.