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3 Important Things to Consider during Medicare OEP

medicare-enrollment-3-medicare-oep-considerations

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is a unique Medicare enrollment opportunity for Medicare Advantage enrollees. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that, as of the start of 2020, 24 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare Advantage Plans.

If you happen to be one of them, chances are you already understand the benefits of Medicare Advantage Plans. Medicare OEP, that runs January 1 through March 31, gives you the option of making a one-time change, either to a different Medicare Advantage Plan or back to Original Medicare Parts A and B.

Here are three things to consider that may help you make an informed decision on whether or not you want to change your Medicare enrollment.

1. Cost

Many Medicare Advantage Plans offer cost savings. According to CMS, half of enrollees choose a plan that has a $0 premium and the Kaiser Family Foundation reports 90 percent of Medicare Advantage Plans include prescription drug coverage. If your needs have recently changed, it may increase your costs. If you know all of your doctors are in network, your prescriptions aren’t costing you more, and you haven’t added any new prescriptions that aren’t covered or are in the highest tier, your current plan may still be the right one for you.

2. Coverage

In 2020, 88 percent of Medicare Advantage Plans include dental benefits, 87 percent include vision benefits, 83 percent include hearing benefits, and 93 percent include fitness benefits—none of which are covered in Original Medicare. Some 2020 Medicare Advantage Plans may also include meal benefits, transportation, home safety improvements, and in-home care. If your needs have changed, especially in these areas, you may want to re-evaluate your Medicare enrollment during Medicare OEP.

3. Convenience

Having your healthcare providers nearby is worth something. If your doctors or pharmacies have changed recently and you find yourself having to travel too far, it may be worth looking to see if there are plans with closer providers.

Conclusion

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period may be helpful to you if your needs have recently changed. Keeping these three things in mind between January 1 and March 31 can help you make an informed decision about your Medicare enrollment.