Medicare Open Enrollment Checklist for 2019

In less than a month away the Annual Open Enrollment (AEP) will begin on October 15th – December 7th) and is the only time in which a Medicare Beneficiary can change the Medicare Part D drug card or Medicare Advantage Plan unless you experience a Special Qualifying Event (SEP). At Muneris, we recommend each senior review your Medicare Part D formularies to make sure no changes in your medications have taken place. Insurance carriers historically tweak their list of drugs, sometimes move drugs to different tiers and may also change their preferred networks of providers.

For folks covered under a Medicare Advantage Plan, AEP is the time in which insurance carriers can change copays, deductibles, out of pocket limits and also providers can change their network participation. We encourage you to review your Annual Notice for drug card changes, changes in premiums and/or any changes with dental and vision services. 2019 looks to be a strong year in the Medicare Advantage markets, so we don’t anticipate wholesale changes.

Does Medigap have an Open Enrollment for 2019?

No. Medigap doesn’t have an Open Enroll You can switch from one Medigap plan to another during this time, but you can do so and your acceptance is based upon a few medical questions. That being said, if you plan on moving from changing your Medicare Supplement or Medigap plan, the AEP enrollment period is a good time to explore your options.

Finally, make sure you get good counsel. The endless phone calls and marketing solicitations are enough to make you want to change your phone number, pull your hair out, or start a big bonfire! Make sure you are doing business with an independent insurance broker who understands the complexities of the market, has more than one option available, and can provide you with local service in the event you have questions, claims issues, or special needs. Start your research early, and ask great questions.

Burman S. Clark

Burman S. Clark, RHU, CSA is the President of Muneris Benefits and a licensed insurance broker and consultant. His independent practice and focuses on employee benefits, individual life, disability, medical, and senior products. Burman has traveled extensively and provided guidance to large employer associations with regards to the Affordable Care Act.