It has been estimated that nearly 90 percent of Medicare beneficiaries overspend on premiums for their benefits.1
Is this happening to you? Given the high percentage, there is a strong possibility.
There are a few common reasons why people overpay on their benefits: perhaps they purchase Medicare Part C (Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug) plans that do not meet their individual healthcare needs, or they tend to buy based on premium only and overlook the benefits they use. Further, married couples often overpay on their benefits because they purchase the same plan, when in most cases, they would be better off with different, individualized plans.
What you may not know is that all plans announce new pricing and benefits every fall — and you also have the chance to re-evaluate and change plans every year.
The annual open enrollment period for Medicare starts on Saturday, October 15, 2016, and ends on Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Coverage goes into effect on January 1, 2017. If you’re on Medicare, this is your chance to determine whether you are getting the best coverage at the best price for your Part C and D plans.
It’s particularly important for you to perform an annual Medicare checkup if any of the following have happened within the past year:
— Your prescription medications have changed
— You have been diagnosed with a major health condition(s)
— Your Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs have increased over time
— You’ve experienced poor customer service
— Your carrier has discontinued the Medicare Part C or D plans
— Your legal residence has changed
There are many reputable Medicare plan brokers and consultants who can help you determine whether you’re overpaying for your benefits. The first step is to realize you have the ability to re-evaluate and change plans every year.
To make sure you keep it top of mind, you may consider contacting your financial advisor and asking to add “Medicare check-up” to your annual, year-end planning checklist; just remember that the window closes on December 7, 2016.