Open enrollment season is a period of time when people may elect or change the benefit options in health insurance and Medicare. The dates are October 15 through December 7. Current Medicare users can choose to re-evaluate part of their Medicare coverage and compare it against other plans in the health insurance market. After re-evaluating you can either add, drop, or switch Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. The Medicare Advantage plan is also known as the “Part C” plan. You cannot use Open Enrollment for Part A and/or Part B for the first time.
Medicare is made up of several primary components or parts.
- Part A: this plan is often called the hospital insurance plan because it pays for your care while you are in a hospital. It also pays some of the costs you stay in a skilled nursing facility or if you get health care at home. Lastly, it covers hospice care for people who are terminally ill.
- Part B: this plan pays for doctor services, outpatient hospital care, and home healthcare that is not covered by in Part A.
- Part C: this covers hospital services, doctor office visits, prescription drugs, and includes benefits such as dental, vision, and hearing coverage.
- Part D: to join this plan it must be run by an insurance company or other private company approved by the Medicare. Each plan can vary in cost and the drugs covered. This plan covers your prescription drugs. If you take drugs now or if you do not and your health changes or you need more medicine, this plan will help pay and protect you from high drug costs.
Why consider re-evaluating your current Medicare Plan?
Choosing health insurance is no longer a one-time decision for most Medicare beneficiaries. Each year, insurance companies can make changes to Medicare Plans that can impact you personally and financially. It can impact monthly premiums, deductibles, drug costs, and provider or pharmacy “networks”. A network is a list of doctors, hospitals, or pharmacies that negotiate prices. There are three benefits to re-evaluating your current or new Medicare plan:
- You can switch to a better prescription drug coverage. Open enrollment even allows you to add a new drug coverage for the first time. This can help if you have crucial medications that you need and you can get them for a better price. It can also ensure that your drug plan still covers the drugs you need.
- You can save money and keep the doctor you already go to. Switching Medicare plans can potentially save you hundreds of dollars a year, especially if your current plan has out-of-pocket costs. Remember to check your doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies are still in the “network” you are a part of. If your insurance company has changed your plan’s provider or pharmacy network for the next year, you can use open enrollment to switch to a plan that will cover your current doctors, hospital, and pharmacies in the “network”.
- You can find a higher quality plan. You can check the quality of your plan during the open enrollment to make sure that you are getting the benefits and low costs you need.
At Gonzaba Medical Group in San Antonio, we accept Medicare plans. It is important to be educated on the open enrollment to make sure you can get everything you need. At Gonzaba, we offer primary, specialty, and chiropractic care. We also have a complete radiology center and a physical therapy and rehabilitation program. We have everything you need to treat your health care needs and can provide you all of the diagnostic and laboratory services. If you are interested in coming to us, visit our website to learn more or give us a call at 210-921-3800. Our mission is to provide an innovative system of medical care that delivers with integrity every day.