Dear Valued Client and Families,
It is that time of year again to take a minute to reflect on and evaluate your and your loved ones current Medicare coverage. This gives you the opportunity to look back over the last year to acknowledge where you were well covered and where you think you might need a change in your coverage. Medicare open enrollment begins October 15th and goes until December 7th. Do Not Delay, start planning today!!
There are lots of resources in the community to assist you in this process. Please be sure to utilize the services in your area as you navigate whether you would benefit from making any changes. By this time, you should have received your new Medicare and You handbook for 2020. Please be sure to review this to assist you in making choices but please know that your county SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) office is available to answer your questions. Below is a list of the local offices and their contact numbers:
Anne Arundel County: (410)222-4257
Baltimore City: (410)396-2273
Baltimore County: (410)887-2059
Carroll County: (410)386-2400
Harford County: (410)638-3025
Howard County: (410)313-7392
Montgomery County: (301)255-4250
Prince Georges County: (301)265-8471
Help and assistance is available 24 hours a day, including weekends: 1 (800) MEDICARE or 1 (800)633-4227. Also, Maryland Department of Aging: 1 (800) 243-3425, or (410) 676-1100.
Or use Medicare’s Plan Finder Tool, https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/#/?lang=en.
Things to consider:
- If you acknowledged gaps in your Medicare coverage, or paid out of pocket for prescriptions more than normal
- If you are taking different medications, a new plan may save you money
- If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can switch to Original Medicare
- If you currently have Medicare Part D, or a Medicare Advantage plan, you should receive an ANOC (Annual notice of change) from your plan. These notices should reflect any changes in your plan’s benefits, costs or rules for 2020.
- Even if you are happy with your current plan, it could prove to be beneficial to review different Medicare Part D plans that have changed for the upcoming year.
Additional helpful information when you visit your pharmacy:
- Request a 90-day supply; three refills in one trip
- Request generic medications; lower priced medications might be available
- Make sure that the bottles are easy to open and you are confident in the administration of the medication
- Make sure that the information for each prescription is easy to read
- Mark you calendar for Mid-October of 2020 to remind you of open enrollment for next year!!
As always, we look forward to working with you and your loved ones and welcome your calls and questions as we navigate together.
Ellen S. Platt, MEd, CRC, CCM
Aging Life Care Manager The Option Group Care Management and Consulting