Medicare is constantly changing.  We have seen many changes to Medicare in the past 12 months to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic such as hospitalization protocols, use of ventilators, medical protocols, prescription medication treatments, virtual office calls, and now the injectable vaccines.  Many of these changes happen behind the scenes and are not readily visible to most people.

Medicare Plan Changes

Changes to Medicare that most beneficiaries see are changes to their “Medicare plans”, which, of course, are subject to change every January 1st.  Rates can change, as well as benefits, networks, formularies, copays, etc.  Your Medicare plan will send you a document every fall called an ANOC (Annual Notice Of Change).  This document will outline any changes to your plan for the coming year.  Do not idly discard this booklet.  READ IT.  This further emphasizes the need for an annual review, which is why we at Long Term Care Insurance Advisors provide you with free unrivaled support for life.  This service will thoroughly review all the changes to your plan for the coming year, evaluate their significance, and help you decide if there is a better alternative plan to meet your specific needs which also may change from time to time.

Drug Plan Changes

The same holds true for your Part D prescription drug benefit.  Whether you have a “stand-alone” drug plan or have drug coverage embedded in your Medicare Advantage plan, review your coverage annually.  There are lots of what we like to call “moving parts” in a drug plan that may change every year, such as, premiums, formularies, drug tiers, copays, co-insurance, networks, deductibles, quantity limits, step therapy, and prior authorization.  Certain of these changes could have a devastating impact on your out-of-pocket drug costs for the year.  Don’t get caught short.  Call us for your annual prescription drug plan review.  Also if you take and brand-name or expensive prescriptions, you may wish to submit your list for analysis by using the following link:   https://ltcadv.com/medicare-part-d-drug-list/.  Feel free to share this link with family, friends, and neighbors looking to save money on Medicare drug costs.

New Medicare Plan Options

Sometimes new plans will come to market that you may not be aware of.  Most will remember when Medicare “Cost” plan exited the metro market in 2019.  That caused a major influx of new Medicare Advantage plan to flood the market.  Then for 2020, a new Medical Savings Account (MSA) plan was introduced to MN for the first time, which clearly appealed to certain plan purchasers.  What will 2021 bring?  We will have to wait and see.

2021 Plan Changes

Most are aware that enrollees with Medicare Advantage or Part D drug plans have the opportunity every fall to change plans if they wish.  It’s called the Annual Election Period (AEP) and runs from October 15th through December 7th.  You never have prove insurability (go through underwriting) and pre-existing conditions are always covered.  So if there is good reason to change plans, we can help you do just that.

Need to Reevaluate?

Some clients come to us and ask:  “I have Parts A and B and a drug plan.  Isn’t that all I need?”  Maybe, if you don’t plan on having a major illness or accident or have a bulging bank account you can freely tap.  It is important to know that Original Medicare (Parts A & B) does not have an out-of-pocket limit.  I repeat; Original Medicare does not have an out-of-pocket limit.  No one knows or can accurately predict when they may get cancer, have a stroke, suffer a heart attack, need major surgery, or have a brain aneurism.  We think it pays to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.  If you only have Parts A and B and D, give us a call.  We would be happy to provide a no-obligation review.  Maybe a $0 premium plan would be an option to consider?

One Final Thought

To quote a famous former football player, “We want you to get everything you’re entitled to.  Give us a call – it’s free.”  Seriously, everyone eligible for Medicare needs a thorough local review of their unique situation each and every year.  At Long Term Care Insurance Advisors, we provide you with free unrivaled support for life.  Call us anytime.  We are here to help you.