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What are Biggest Medicare Open Enrollment Mistakes?

MSN’s recent article entitled “Don’t make these 5 common Medicare mistakes during open enrollment,” provides some of the common Medicare open enrollment mistakes:

  1. Not checking your doctors for 2023. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you have to get medical care from doctors in the plan’s network. However, a plan’s network can change at any time. Therefore, before you decide to stick with the plan you’re in, make certain your preferred medical providers are still in the plan’s network in 2023. The best thing is to call the doctor’s office and just confirm with them.
  2. Failing to compare prescription drug plans. No matter if you have Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, your prescription drug coverage comes from a private insurance company. As a result, it may change what it covers each year. Your regular prescription medication may cost more in 2023, or an insurer may not cover it at all. Another plan may also cover it for less. It is, therefore, wise to plug your drugs into Medicare.gov to see what plans they suggest for you. If you log into your account at Medicare.gov, your medication history is already there.
  3. Believing all doctors will take your PPO plan during open enrollment. A preferred provider organization (PPO) plan is a health plan that lets members see out-of-network doctors but usually at a higher price. People sometimes think because they have a Medicare Advantage PPO, they’ll be able to go to any doctor they want. However, providers don’t always take out-of-network coverage and can simply refuse someone at the point of service, if they don’t want to bill the plan.
  4. Being influenced by the splashy ads. Medicare open enrollment season means Medicare commercials abound, and Medicare Advantage plans have appealing things to offer such as no premiums and some coverage for hearing, dental and vision care. However, shopping for your health coverage is about more than the side benefits. In fact, most don’t cover much dental, and hearing aid coverage is limited. This isn’t the reason to change your plan. It is more important to make sure that the plan covers your doctors and prescriptions for next year.
  5. Waiting too long to ask for help. Medicare open enrollment ends December 7. However, you don’t want to wait to start your research. If you have questions, you can get help through programs like the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP. Counselors at SHIP programs can offer free assistance with your Medicare choices.

Reference: MSN (Nov. 21, 2022) “Don’t make these 5 common Medicare mistakes during open enrollment”