Many Medicare beneficiaries are not aware that the open enrollment period for the Medicare Part D Drug plans is happening right now. You have until December 7th to determine if it is to your benefit to change plans, which could save you money.
Have you signed up for Medicare Part D yet? Time is ticking, but don’t move before thinking through the options. Just because something worked this year doesn’t mean that it will be good for you next year, and big changes are afoot in many popular plans. So don’t get trapped in an inefficient plan.
Here is a sobering statistic pulled by a posting over at the New Old Age blog on the New York Times: “only 5.2 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries manage to choose the most economical plan” (see “Part D, Part 2”). And why would that be? The market shifts greatly from year to year and providers frequently hide the gritty details with broad promises, but it’s those very details that determine your day-to-day life and much of your finances.
For a short list of things to watch for and a broader view on comparing plans it may be helpful to review another article, “Avoid A Costly Medicare Part D Mistake Right Now” through Forbes.
The big things to watch?
- Increased monthly premium.
- Increased deductible amount.
- Changes in what drugs the plans cover and how well they cover them.
- Changes in the medications you take.
- Your plan may no longer be offered. In this case if you do nothing you will be enrolled in another plan that may not be the best suited for you.
Remember: you must pick before December 7th! Choose wisely.
References: Forbes (November 8, 2012) “Avoid A Costly Medicare Part D Mistake Right Now”
The New York Times – The New Old Age Blog (November 1, 2012) “Part D, Part 2”
For more information on Medicare Part D Plans, please visit our Estate Planning website.