The calendar has turned, the cooler weather has arrived and autumn’s rites of passage are upon us. Fall foliage along the Blue Ridge Parkway is hitting its peak, pumpkin spice everything is everywhere, and, if you’re over 65, Medicare open enrollment is here. While looking at leaves and drinking lattes are probably more desirable than reviewing your Medicare options, they don’t make great topics for a personal finance blog, so here’s a quick checklist of things to consider during this season of open enrollment, which runs October 15 – December 7.
1. Be aware of changes in premiums and deductibles:
- Part A – deductible for in-patient care will change
- Part B – the premium will change. If you have your Part B premium deducted directly from your Social Security check, you may not notice this increase since it can be offset by cost of living adjustments to Social Security. Also, be aware of IRRMA surcharges. Income from your 2018 tax return will impact what you pay in 2020.
- Part D – the premium can change
2. Review your Part D coverage or Medicare Advantage plan for drug coverage:
If you have a Part D or Medicare Advantage plan, open enrollment is a perfect time to review your plans formulary for any changes to the prescription drug coverage. Review the formula to confirm any prescriptions you currently have are still covered under your plan. You can also set up an account at Medicare.gov, enter your prescriptions, and view plans and pricing for your current prescriptions. Lastly, call the 800 number on the back of your Medicare card to confirm the pharmacy you are using is a preferred pharmacy to ensure you’re getting the best pricing.
3. Use your new Medicare card, destroy the old one:
Your old Medicare card with your Social Security number on it will no longer be valid at the end of the year. You should destroy your old card with the Social Security number and only use the new card with the alpha/numeric number. You should still protect your new Medicare number just like the old one.
4. Always be on the lookout for scammers:
Lastly, always be on the lookout for Medicare scams. Medicare will never call and ask for your Medicare ID number or Social Security number.
Still have questions? Contact your Parsec financial advisor for help navigating this year’s Medicare open enrollment period.