Medicare open enrollment begins Tuesday! Visit the AARP Medicare Resource Center for the information you need to make your best choices.
En español | If you like your current Part D drug plan, you can remain with it into the following plan year, which begins Jan. 1. You don’t have to reenroll or inform the plan that you’re staying. But be aware that all Part D plans can change their costs and coverage every calendar year. Therefore, the plan that works best for you this year won’t necessarily be your best deal next year. So it’s in your own interests to carefully consider your options.
As a first step, pay attention to a letter you’ll receive from your plan in September. This is the Annual Notice of Change that Medicare requires plans to send to all of their enrollees. It informs you of any changes the plan will make for next year — including costs (premiums, deductibles, copays); benefits (which drugs are covered); service area; and which pharmacies can dispense drugs under this plan. (If you don’t receive this notice, or mislay it, call the plan and ask for another, or see if it’s posted on the plan’s website.)
Reviewing the Annual Notice of Change provides you with a basis to compare your current plan with others offered in your area for the following year. You can make this comparison during the annual open enrollment period (Oct. 15 to Dec. 7). You can use the online plan-finder program on Medicare’s website (https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx) to identify the plan that covers your drugs at the least out-of-pocket cost, or call Medicare at 800-633-4227 and ask a customer service representative to do the search for you.
After making this comparison, if you want to switch to another Part D plan, you can enroll online on Medicare’s plan-finder website, or call Medicare, or call the plan. You do not have to inform your current plan. Signing up with a new plan automatically cancels your coverage from the old one. Your new coverage will begin Jan. 1.
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