The Annual Election Period (AEP) for Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans begins on October 15th and continues through December 7th.
During this period, those who are eligible for Medicare can enroll in a plan, change their plan, or disenroll and return to original Medicare, all of which will take effect on January 1st, 2021.
Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Part C of Medicare, are offered through private health insurance companies.
These plans contract with Medicare to provide your Part A and Part B benefits and cover most services covered by Medicare.
They often include additional benefits such as dental, vision, hearing, fitness memberships and even over-the-counter (OTC) allowances for a variety of health care related products.
Most also include prescription drug coverage, making for one comprehensive plan to address your health care needs.
While an alternative to original Medicare, you are still enrolled in Medicare when participating in a Medicare Advantage plan.
The insurance companies must follow rules that are set by Medicare, and are paid a fixed amount each month for managing your care.
These plans have been quite popular over the past several years, with many companies enhancing their dental, vision and OTC benefits.
So how does a Medicare Advantage plan work?
The short answer is, much like the regular health insurance plan that you had prior to going on Medicare.
Typically, you pay a copay for just about every service you encounter, such as a simple office visit, a diagnostic test or an inpatient hospital stay.
Most Medicare Advantage plans in our area have either an HMO or PPO network so it is important to make sure your doctors are part of the plan’s network prior to choosing a plan.
Likewise, if the plan covers prescription drugs, you will want to make sure your drugs are covered and determine how much you will pay for them.
You can obtain this information by using the Medicare Plan Finder on Medicare’s website (Medicare.gov).
Not all plans work the same so take the time to compare their benefits and find one that fits your specific needs.
For more information or to schedule a virtual appointment with R.D. Fink Agency, please call 215-230-9810.
PHOTO CAP: Robert D. Fink, CLU, CIC