Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is just around the corner. In just a little over a month, those of you who are looking to enroll in a Medicare plan will have a chance to do just that. If you want to make the most of AEP, preparing for the event is key.
“Wait,” you’re probably thinking, “I have to prepare to enroll in Medicare? What are you talking about?”
While you technically don’t have to do any sort of preparation for enrolling, it’s a big help. If you’ve never considered Medicare or read up on the topic, you may find yourself a little confused and aggravated by the enrollment process. To fill out the form alone, you’ll probably find yourself going on a wild goose chase to find certain types of information if you don’t have appropriate documentation on hand.
To help you prepare for 2023’s Medicare AEP, MedicareInsurance.com offers three key tips for prepping for AEP in 2023, as well as a handy checklist to help you cruise through enrollment during AEP any time.
1: Take a Look at Your Current Health Plan
This one’s for individuals who are either enrolled in a regular health insurance plan or have already enrolled in Medicare. During AEP, you’ll have the opportunity to become a Medicare beneficiary, or you’ll be able to switch Medicare plans. You’ll also be able to add Medicare Part D Prescription Drug coverage if you don’t have it already.
Before you decide whether or not to enroll, look at your current health plan. Ask yourself these questions:
- Does it offer the coverage I need?
- Are my current premiums still manageable?
- Is my deductible as low as it could be?
With those questions in mind, use your current health plan to compare and research Medicare plans. Research not only Original Medicare – Medicare Parts A and B – but also Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug plans. This way, you’ll be better equipped to find a plan that meets your own personal health care needs.
2: Note Any Changes to Your Health
Are you experiencing mobility and balance issues that make daily life a little more difficult? Have you been diagnosed with any chronic conditions or illnesses in the past year? If so, these are important things to consider when you’re choosing a Medicare plan.
Before AEP, take some time to write down changes in your personal health you’ve noticed over the past year. Minor or major, all changes should be considered when you’re researching Medicare plans. You may find that certain plans offer more comprehensive coverage for your personal conditions than your current plan, or other available plans, may offer.
3: Make a List of Your Medications
Medicare Prescription Drug coverage, also known as Medicare Part D, can help you save on the prescription medications you need. If you take many different medications, a Part D plan isn’t a bad thing to have. However, you’ll want to make sure that your own personal medications are covered before jumping into a plan.
To prepare for enrolling in Part D plans, make sure you list every medication that you take. It sounds like a tedious process, but it’s worth it. A list of your medications will help you compare your needs versus what Part D plan formularies will or will not cover. In the end, this can help you choose a Medicare Prescription Drug plan that covers exactly what you need.
With a little bit of preparation, signing up for a Medicare plan during AEP becomes a bit more of a breeze – far easier with some prep than if you weren’t ready at all. For additional guidance on your Medicare options, consider consulting with a qualified elder law attorney in your area.
Larry Johnson is a content writer with several years of experience in creating informative content for a variety of industries. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.