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"easyMedicare made getting the coverage
I deserved easy and saved me a great deal of money."

- Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann - NFL MVP and Super Bowl Champion

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"easyMedicare made getting the coverage I deserved easy and saved me a great deal of money."

- Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann - NFL MVP and Super Bowl Champion

Medicare Annual Election Period: What to Expect During Your Consultation

aep-what-to-expect-during-your-consultation

Medicare’s Annual Election Period is here! During this time, anyone with existing Medicare coverage (at least Parts A and B) will be able to change their Medicare plan for the upcoming year. This period runs from October 15 to December 7. Having a consultation with one of easyMedicare’s licensed insurance agents can help you make a decision on whether you need to adjust your current coverage.

Prior to your consultation

Contrary to popular belief, a large part of your consultation process happens before you even pick up the phone. Prior to your call with an easyMedicare agent, you will want to check off a few things.

1. Read your annual notice of change

If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D drug plan, in September, prior to the Annual Election Period beginning, you will receive your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). This is a letter from your current Medicare provider detailing all of the changes to your plan in the upcoming year. You should read this thoroughly and look for any changes that may affect you and your health-lifestyle in the next year. For example, you may see an increase in monthly premiums, changes in copays or deductibles, or even a change in service area. If your plan no longer meets your needs, or you are interested in seeing what additional benefits are out there, an agent can help you compare your current plan with other options.

2. Evaluate your current coverage

Whether you have Original Medicare only (Parts A and B), or you have a Medicare Advantage plan, it is vital to take a good look at your current healthcare coverage. Take notes on what your current plan offers, and what you wish it offered, for example, whether your current plan includes dental, vision or hearing. Perhaps you are looking for a plan that allows you to visit physicians both inside and outside of your network, or you are looking for extra perks such as discounted Part B premiums through Social Security give-back.

3. Have your Medicare card handy

In order for your agent to look up your current plan and compare it with other plans in your area, you will need to provide information on your Medicare card. Knowing where this is and having it ready before the consultation can make the process a lot easier.

4. Take note of your current doctors, prescriptions and any other health concerns

There will be a lot of things to talk about during your consultation, and that’s why it is so important to have a few notes made ahead of time.

Many Medicare plans require you to see a doctor that is in their network, which is why it is important to take note of all physicians you see. During your consultation, your agent can look up each doctor and find a Medicare plan that includes most, if not all, of your preferred physicians. Taking the time to write down your current doctors ahead of time can save you from forgetting one, or more, when you are recalling them on the spot.

Paying for prescriptions out of pocket can get very expensive, very fast. If you are taking any prescription drugs, making sure they are covered in your Medicare plan is likely a high priority. Medicare plans have a list of covered prescriptions, as well as their prices, in the plan’s formulary. If your current prescriptions are written out prior to your consultation, you and your agent can go through them and find a plan that offers the most drug coverage available to you.

If you have any special health concerns that will impact your Medicare coverage needs, it is necessary information for your consultation. Having it written down ahead of time will make sure that it gets considered when you are comparing plans or making any final decisions about your plan.

During your consultation

1. Your agent will help you compare plans

After letting the agent know of your zip code, as Medicare plans are based on a beneficiary’s location, and you provide your Medicare card information, your licensed insurance agent will be able to see all of the Medicare plans offered in your area. Together, you will go over the costs and benefits that each plan provides. This is when having your physicians and prescriptions listed out will come in handy, as your agent will do their best to make sure you receive the coverage you deserve. Having an agent do this with you may not only save you time, but also provide potential benefits you may not have found on your own.

2. You will decide on a plan

After choosing a plan that you are happy with, your agent will read you a Summary of Benefits. This step is important, as it will ensure that you understand the elements of the plan you are agreeing to. A Summary of Benefits provides an overview of all the benefits that your chosen plan offers. For example, the amount that you are responsible for when it comes to your monthly premium(s), deductibles or copays. The Summary of Benefits will also go into detail about your specific prescription costs.

After you have gone through your summary of benefits, your agent will guide you through enrolling in your chosen plan. At this point in the consultation, you should be aware of all your available options and satisfied that you have enrolled in a Medicare plan based on an informed decision. The Medicare Annual Election Period is the perfect time to compare the plans that are out there, even against the one you already have. You never know if there are more benefits out there that you could be taking advantage of until you have a consultation with an easyMedicare licensed insurance agent.

To start your consultation, call us at 1-800-991-4407 / TTY 711. You can reach us from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, with extended weekday and weekend hours throughout the Annual Election Period.