4 Last-Minute Medicare Open Enrollment Tips

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4 Last-Minute Medicare Open Enrollment Tips


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It's hard to believe that end of November is upon us, and that in just about a month's time, we'll be doing a countdown to 2021.
But there's another milestone that's coming up sooner -- the end of Medicare's annual open enrollment.

During open enrollment, seniors on Medicare have an opportunity to elect different coverage for the coming year. And at this
point, there's only about a week left to do so, what with open enrollment wrapping up on December 7. If you've yet to finalize
your plan choices for 2021, here are a few last-minute tips that might help.

1. Don't just look at premiums
Though Medicare Part B charges a standard monthly premium, the amount you'll pay for a Part D drug plan or Medicare
Advantage plan can vary tremendously. But when exploring your plan choices, you'll need to pay attention to more than just
the monthly fee you'll pay to enroll; you'll also need to look at what sort of coverage each plan offers.

2. Don't be afraid to try Medicare Advantage for the first time
If you've been sticking to original Medicare for years and have yet to try an Advantage plan, you may be hesitant to do so.
But actually, enrolling in Medicare Advantage has become a fairly low-risk prospect. That's because Medicare Advantage
now has its own distinct open enrollment period that runs from Jan.

3. Don't comingle your needs with your spouse's
Just because you have certain health needs doesn't mean the same applies to your spouse. That's why you shouldn't assume
you should both sign up for the same plan. If you take prescriptions and your spouse takes different ones, you should each
find a plan that offers the best coverage for the specific medications you're on.

4. Look at plan ratings -- but don't rely too heavily on them
Medicare has a star rating system that ranks plans so you can more easily compare your choices. Advantage plans,
for example, are rated based on how well they help seniors stay healthy through screenings and managing long-term
conditions, as well as how good their customer service is. Part D plans, meanwhile, are rated based on customer service,
drug prices, and patient safety.

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