How to avoid common Medicare open enrollment mistakes

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Medicare open enrollment starts Friday, October 15th and Coloradan Louise Norris, a licensed broker and analyst for MedicareResource.org shares her tips for seniors so they don’t miss out on this important opportunity to review their coverage.

One of the biggest missteps consumers make during the annual Medicare open enrollment period? Simply missing out on the annual opportunity, which starts Oct. 15, to make changes that could improve their Medicare coverage or make it more affordable. The enrollment period closes Dec. 7. 

Medicare open enrollment is for people who have already enrolled in Medicare. If you are enrolled, you can: 
Switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage – or the other way around. 
Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or from one Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another. 

Also, if you are a Medicare beneficiary with a disability or chronic condition – including now end-stage renal disease under the terms of the 21st Century Cures Act — regardless of your age this may also be an opportunity to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan.

The fall open enrollment period does not apply to Medigap plans, which provide supplemental insurance coverage for Original Medicare’s out-of-pocket costs. These plans are only guaranteed-issue in most states during a beneficiary’s initial open enrollment period. If it’s been more than six months since you enrolled in Medicare, your application will likely be subject to medical underwriting.

Find more detailed information about Medicare open enrollment in the Medicare Open Enrollment 2022 Guide.

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