Every year, Medicare Open Enrollment occurs from October 15 to December 7 for coverage beginning January 1. Whether you currently have Medicare coverage or need to sign up for the first time, it can be difficult to navigate the waters of open enrollment. Find out why you should look into plan options, even if you are satisfied with your current plan, and how the advisors at Core Insurance can help you make your Medicare-related decisions.

Explore the Medicare & You Handbook

For those with current Medicare coverage, the Medicare & You handbook for the upcoming year is an excellent tool to explore any changes in benefits. Plans can change from year to year, so it is wise to research options and learn how your plan might be changing. Your health needs may change from year to year as well, so take your prescriptions and specialist visits into consideration.

Medicare Open Enrollment Differs From the Health Insurance Marketplace

It is not uncommon for individuals with Medicare coverage to confuse the Medicare open enrollment period with the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period. The Health Insurance Marketplace has plans for uninsured or underinsured people but cannot be used by those eligible for Medicare. The enrollment periods can overlap, so take care to see that you are looking into the correct open enrollment.

Open Enrollment Does Not Apply to Medigap

That’s right, you read that correctly. Medigap plans can be used to cover costs that Original Medicare does not. This includes copays and deductibles, dental and vision care and treatment outside of the United States. You must be enrolled in Medicare Part B to be eligible for Medigap. The open enrollment period for Medigap is within six months of signing up for Medicare Part B or six months from the first day of the month of your 65th birthday.

Use the Help of an Advisor

If you are not familiar with the language used in the health insurance industry, understanding your policy and shopping for a new one can be confusing. At Core Insurance Advisors, we can help with any questions you might have regarding Medicare coverage, including Medicare Open Enrollment.