October 12, 2020

Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period

Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7 each year, and during this time you can make changes to your Medicare coverage.  You can make as many changes as you need to your Medicare coverage during Open Enrollment, and the last change you make will take effect on January 1st.

Take action during Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period to make sure your coverage will meet your needs in the next calendar year. The changes you can make during Open Enrollment include:

  1. Joining a new Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D prescription drug plan
  2. Switching from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
  3. Switching from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare (with or without a Part D plan)

During the Open Enrollment period, you should review your coverage for the upcoming year.

Medicare Advantage and Part D plan coverage usually changes each year.  Make sure that your drugs will still be covered next year and that your providers and pharmacies will still be in the plan’s network.

If you have Original Medicare, you can visit www.medicare.gov or read the Medicare & You handbook, which is mailed to you each year, to learn about your Medicare benefits for next year.

If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a stand-alone Part D plan, read your plan’s Annual Notice of Change or Evidence of Coverage.

*Be sure to explore other plans in your area. You may find a cheaper plan that meets your healthcare and prescription drug needs. Research shows you can lower your costs by shopping around. You can:

  1. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to make changes.
  2. You can also visit www.medicare.gov/plans-compare to review options or make changes.
  3. Contact plans directly to learn about the services they cover or to enroll.
  4. Make an appointment with your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP office. SHIPs are funded by the government to provide trusted, unbiased Medicare counseling.

*The Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol warns us that scammers also take advantage of the Open Enrollment Period. Remember, it is ALWAYS a scam if an unsolicited caller asks you to wire money or pay with a prepaid credit card or gift card.

If you receive a suspicious phone call, HANG UP! DO NOT GIVE THEM MONEY OR PERSONAL INFORMATION. To report attempted Medicare fraud and scams to the Arkansas Senior Medicare Patrol by calling 1-866-726-2916.