If you are a retiree or a potential retiree, healthcare may probably be one of your largest expenses. And it’s not an expense you can choose to avoid or settle for less. If a retiree enrolls in Medicare Part D during the open enrollment, they may be stuck with it for the rest of the year, even if it’s not working for them. But it’s a different case if you enroll in the Medicare Advantage plan and are unhappy with the plan.
Medicare Advantage has an open enrollment period that runs from January 1 – March 31. Here are some reasons why you should consider switching your coverage during this period.
1. If Your Plan Has Changed
Keeping your old Advantage plan can be a good deal, but you may regret the decision if that plan has changed. It may be that the specific care you need is now costly. In that case, you should consider moving to another plan. Usually, Advantage plans are required to inform enrollees of any changes that will occur from time to time—so they can’t just increase costs without notifying you. However, you might miss such notices and be left with an expensive bill.
2. You Can’t Seem to Find a Provider You Like
A Medicare Advantage plan typically limits you to healthcare providers’ networks, which may make it difficult to find a doctor you can trust or want to use. In that case, it will make sense to consider switching to another plan—perhaps one with a network of recognized healthcare providers.
3. You Can’t Find a Good Pharmacy
Just as some Advantage plans limit the doctors you can access, it also limits you to a network of pharmacies. If you can’t seem to find a pharmacy within a convenient distance, then it’s worth considering switching to a different plan.
4. If You Are Going Out of State
Typically, Medicare Plans allow you to access healthcare services anywhere around the country. But with Medicare Advantage plans, you are generally limited to a network of local healthcare providers and pharmacies. This could become an issue if you want to spend time outside your state.
In such a case, it will be advisable to drop your Advantage plan. But instead of switching to a different one, you should enroll in the original Medicare plan. Thankfully, you can still take this option up until March 31.
Ensure That You Make the Right Decision
The ideal Medicare plan won’t only save you money, it would also ensure you get the perfect healthcare coverage and avoid problems. If your Medicare Advantage plan isn’t working for you, then consider making a switch. You have the option to get a new Advantage plan or move to the original Medicare. Still, it’s essential to only make these changes during the Medicare Advantage open enrollment period.