Oct 14, 2014

Medicare Open Enrollment begins Oct. 15




The Medicare Open Enrollment period begins October 15, 2014 and ends on December 7, 2014. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services predicts that premiums for Medicare Advantage plans and Part D plans will rise only slightly in 2015. The Medicare Advantage Plan will cost $33.90, up by $2.94. The typical Part D premium will be $32.00, a $1 increase.

The Affordable Care Act has helped shrink the doughnut hole for 2015. Beneficiaries will enter the doughnut hole once they have paid $2,960.00 in out-of-pocket costs, up from this year's figure of $2,850.00. And once you have entered the doughnut hole, you'll pay less for your prescription drugs: 45% for brand name drugs, down from 47.5%; and 65% for generics, down from 72%.

Even if you are happy with your current Medicare health plan and prescription plan, the cost and services provided may change from year to year, so check to be sure your current plans still meet your needs. Researching plans can be a complex venture. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services offers a number of resources and checklists to help you choose the best plan.  Also, you can find the 2015 "Medicare and You" booklet here.

I'll end with a word of caution: Medicare Open Enrollment is high season for Medicare scam artists. Be cautious to the extreme. The most common scenario is a call from someone posing as a government representative, asking for personal information so that a new card can be issued. Provide no information or you could have your identity swiped. Also, if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, remember it is illegal for anyone to try to sell you a Medigap plan. For an overview of common Medicare scams to watch out for, click here.

1 comment:

Gerald Vonberger said...

I had no idea that the Medicare plans could change from year to year. My parents are on Medicare right now. They might need to make sure that their current coverage fits their needs. I'm really glad I saw this. Elder law seems to be a bit of a tricky thing that you need to constantly keep on. http://www.cormacmcenery.com/practice-areas/elder-law/

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