Medicare Open Enrollment

 Senior Advisory Services PLLC                                           October 2015


Now through December 7, 2015

CAUTION: Do not give your Medicare number to anyone who calls you about Medicare plans. Only share information when you are the one initiating the call. 

What is Medicare Open Enrollment? A once-a-year opportunity to select a different Medicare Part D or Medicare Health Plan

What happens if I do nothing? You will automatically be enrolled in the same plan you have currently, but beware your current plan may be unavailable or cost more in 2016

When do I have to decide? Select and enroll in a plan by December 7. The new plan will begin on January 1.

Why should I read this? One of the best ways to save money on healthcare is to shop around for the most cost effective Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Health Plan (aka Medicare Advantage Plan). Now through December 7 is the only time you can choose a new plan for 2016 (unless you are new to Medicare or dis-enroll from a Medicare Advantage Plan)

How do I choose the best plan? You don't have to sift through the piles of mail you've received from insurance companies. There's an easier way! Medicare has a website that shows you all the options and annual costs based on where you live, your preferred pharmacy, and the prescription drugs you take. If you don't have a computer or need assistance, call the Michigan Medicare Assistance Program (MMAP) at (800) 803-7174 or contact us at Senior Advisory Services PLLC (616) 920-1999.

Medicare Plan Summary

If you are on Medicare you have the following choices:

  • Medicare A, B and D with a Medi-gap plan from a private insurance company OR

  • Medicare Health Plan (aka Medicare Advantage) with prescription drug coverage OR

  • Medicare A and B with supplemental and drug coverage through a former employer (such as the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System or a private company)

    Medicare Part A

    ...helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, care in skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, medically necessary home health services.

    Medicare Part B

    ...helps cover outpatient care, doctor visits, medical equipment, preventive services.

    Medi-gap (aka Medicare Supplemental)

    ...helps cover what Medicare doesn’t; such as co-pays, deductibles, or travel outside the U.S. Sold by private insurance companies. The policies are standardized and the coverage varies according to which policy you choose. The most common policies are C, F and N. Premiums vary from company to company.

    Medicare Part D

    ...helps cover prescription drugs for those with traditional Medicare and a Medi-gap plan. These plans are regulated by Medicare and sold by private insurance companies. Plans vary by premium, deductible, coverage and co-pays. There is no "best" plan for everyone. Choose a plan based on the specific prescription drugs you take.

Medicare Health Plans

  • Replaces Medicare Parts A, B, D and Medi-gap

  • Subject to Medicare guidelines, but sold by private insurance companies

  • Most use a HMO or PPO network, and may restrict your choice of doctors

  • Co-pays and deductibles vary significantly so thoroughly research a plan to estimate out-of- pocket costs, even if the monthly premium is zero

  • If you spend the winter outside of Michigan, or travel frequently, your healthcare costs may be significantly more under this type of plan because you may need care while outside of the network