It’s finally September, and coffee shops have unveiled their new pumpkin spice concoctions. For many people, this is their favorite time of year. But it’s also time to review your current health insurance plan, because Fall ushers in everyone’s enrollment periods.
First up: Medicare Annual Election Period begins on October 15 and compare your changing needs with your current Medicare plan’s coverage.
During the Annual Election Period, you can:
- Change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another Advantage Plan
- Switch from basic Medicare into an Advantage plan
- Drop your Advantage plan and go back to basic Medicare
- Add or drop supplemental coverage (like Medicare Part D for prescription drugs)
There is no single route that will work best for everyone. From now until October, review your medical bills and you don’t have to do anything at all.
For everyone else: Open Enrollment for health insurance begins November 1 and lasts until December 15. These dates apply whether you’re enrolled in a private healthcare plan, or a policy through Covered California. So what do you need to do during this time?
Review the past year’s healthcare expenditures, and higher premiums, or vice versa. You might also prefer a plan with a different level of coverage, regarding local physicians or facilities. Start your research now, so that you’re ready to shop for a competitive plan by November.
Also, if you enrolled in your current plan through Covered California, you need to log into the system during Open Enrollment and income information. Do this whether or not you intend to change plans, so that your subsidy (if you receive one) can be calculated.
Remember, unless you experience a special qualifying event, you won’t be able to make changes to your health insurance plan outside of the annual Open Enrollment period. So while you do your fall cleaning and organizing, take a look at your health insurance plan, too.