2017 Medicare Open Enrollment

2017 Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.  It’s that time of year again to review your Medicare health insurance and prescription drug coverage for next year. I want to make sure that you understand the importance of open enrollment and that you have the resources to make the most-informed decisions.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program created in 1965 for people ages 65 and over, regardless of income, medical history, or health status. The program was expanded in 1972 to cover people under age 65 with permanent disabilities. 

  • Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, skilled nursing facility stays, some home health visits, and hospice care. Part A benefits are subject to a deductible and coinsurance amounts that can change each year.
  • Part B covers physician visits, outpatient services, preventive services, and some home health visits. Part B benefits are subject to a deductible and coinsurance amounts as well. No coinsurance or deductible is charged for an annual “wellness visit” or some preventive services.
  • Part C refers to the Medicare Advantage program through which beneficiaries can enroll in a private health plan, such as a health maintenance organization (HMO) or preferred provider organization (PPO), and receive all Medicare-covered Part A and Part B benefits and typically Part D benefits. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans has grown over time, with about a third of all Medicare participants included.
  • Part D covers outpatient prescription drugs through private plans that contract with Medicare, including both stand-alone prescription drug plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage drug plans (MA-PD plans); enrollment in Part D plans is voluntary.

Since your needs and / or plan may have changed, it’s important for you to take advantage of the Open Enrollment Period to review and affirm your best option.  If you would like some help in this, T&W has partnered with a group called Medicare BackOffice.  These knowledgeable agents can review your current plan, and explain any 2018 changes.  They can also compare other plans and help you find the one that fits best. You don’t pay anything for this service (FREE), and you’re not obligated to change plans or purchase anything. 
Their number is 877-385-8083 and please tell them I referred you.

If you would like to talk over any Financial Planning or Investment Management questions, contact us.  Glad to help.

Brent Williams, CFP®