Medicare Enrollment – What to Think About

Medicare’s open enrollment season will close on December 7th. You still have time to make several changes. You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage; you can shift from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare; you can trade one Medicare Advantage policy for another; and you can buy a different Part D prescription drug plan.

Choosing among the various options and plans can be daunting. But a little bit of homework can reveal the many factors that can help shape your decisions. Think of Medicare as a buffet. You’ll want to pick the options that you can afford and that will meet your health needs.

Here are some questions that can help in your decision making:

Your health:
– Do you want to keep your doctors or are you open to changing?
– Do you have a preexisting condition?
– Are you taking medications regularly?
– Are you willing to change pharmacies?

Your home:
– Do you expect to travel around the country or abroad?
– Do you plan to spend more time at your second home?
– Do you live in a rural area?

Your costs:
– Are you worried about what you can afford, from premiums to out-of-pocket expenses such as co-pays, coinsurance and deductibles?
– Are you eligible for Medicaid or other assistance programs?

Your coverage:
– Do you have health insurance through your job or are you covered by your spouse’s plan?
– Are you insured through the Affordable Care Act individual marketplace, a retiree health plan, military plan or COBRA (the temporary coverage that people can buy when they leave a job)?

The answers to these questions can help you take stock of your current coverage, determine whether it falls short — or is just right — and pinpoint where you might want to make an adjustment or two. Your decision should be based on your anticipated best choices for your health, your lifestyle and your pocketbook.

JD Miller

About JD Miller

John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. Phone: (781) 378-2164 Email: [email protected] Website:

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