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Comparing Medicare Plans Could Save You Money

Medicare Open Enrollment is here. Now’s the time to review coverage and select a plan that meets your health care needs.

Medicare’s Open Enrollment period gives everyone with Medicare the opportunity to make changes to their health plans or prescription drug plans for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022. Don’t delay, the Open Enrollment period ends Dec. 7.

Comparing Plans Can Be Easy

Medicare plans can change year to year – even your current plan may be changing. Medicare.gov makes it easy to compare coverage options, shop for plans and feel confident about your choices. You can do a side-by-side comparison of plan coverage, costs, and quality ratings to help you more easily see the differences between plans. If you choose a new plan for 2022, you can enroll right there. If your current coverage still meets your health care needs, you don’t have to do anything.

Open Enrollment (Oct.15-Dec. 7) is your chance to compare your choices for the year ahead and to see if you could save money all year long.

Here are some things to consider when shopping for Medicare coverage:

  • Check if your doctors are still in-network and your prescriptions are on the plan’s formulary.
  • The plan with the lowest monthly premium may not always be the best fit for your health needs.
  • Look at the plan’s deductible and other out-of-pocket costs that factor into your total costs.
  • Some plans offer extra benefits, like vision, hearing or dental coverage, which could help meet your unique health care needs in 2022.
Medicare is Here to Help

Here are three ways you can compare plans:

  • Find plans at Medicare.gov, where you can see estimates for all your prescriptions.
  • Call 1-800-MEDICARE. Help is available 24 hours a day, including weekends.
  • Help in your community is also available. You can get personalized health insurance counseling at no cost to you from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Visit Shiptacenter.org, or call 1-800-MEDICARE for your SHIP’s phone number. Many SHIPs also have virtual counseling available.

Medicare Open Enrollment ends Dec. 7. Now is the time to act if you want to enroll in or make changes to your Medicare health or prescription drug plans for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022. If your current coverage still meets your needs, then you don’t have to do anything. Remember, if you miss the Dec. 7 deadline, you will likely have to wait a full year before you are able to make changes to your Medicare coverage.

For more information, visit Medicare.gov/plan-compare or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. Help is available 24 hours a day, including weekends. If you need help in a language other than English or Spanish, let the customer service representative know the language. More information about Medicare is also available on the Medicare Facebook page.

Need Help with Medicare Costs?

If you have Medicare and you’re facing challenges paying for health care, you may qualify for Medicare Saving Programs run by your state that can help save you money on health and prescription drug costs. If your income for 2021 is below $18,000, it might be worth contacting your state’s Medicaid program about programs that may be available to you. To learn more, call 1-800-MEDICARE.

Protect Your Medicare Card and Help Fight Fraud

Don’t let your guard down. Here are a few important steps you can take to protect your identity and help fight Medicare fraud.

  • Guard your Medicare card and number – Treat your Medicare Number and card just like you would your Social Security card or a credit card. Remember, Medicare will never contact you for your Medicare Number or other personal information unless you’ve given them permission in advance.
  • Review your Medicare claims – When you receive statements from Medicare, look them over to make sure they’re accurate. Watch for any services billed to your Medicare Number that you don’t recognize. Ask questions about your statements if you see something you think is incorrect.

Information provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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