Time’s Up to Change to Your Medicare Advantage Plan

by Millennium Physician Group

An important deadline is looming if you’re a senior on a Medicare Advantage plan. The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period ends March 31, and now’s the time to evaluate your options.

More and more retirees are choosing Medicare Advantage, and the federal government wants to make sure you’re happy in your plan. That’s why you have until March 31 to make a switch during the annual Medicare Advantage Open Enrolment Period.

Camilita Aldrige is a Program Manager for SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) a free program offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and your area Agency on Aging. It’s her job to help simplify Medicare options for thousands of seniors every year.

“What folks are attracted to with the Medicare Advantage Plans are zero premiums for many of the plans,” she explains. “They include additional benefits that Medicare doesn’t cover such as hearing, dental, vision.”

If you’re already enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, January 1 through March 31 each year is the time to review your plan benefits and consider changes. You can change to another Medicare Advantage plan or drop to Original Medicare.

“Every beneficiary is different when it comes to their medical needs,” says Aldridge. “And one of the first things that SHINE educates folks on is that Medicare is individual coverage. So you look for that coverage that is going to best meet your needs.”

Now’s the time to evaluate if you’re happy with your plan’s:

  • Prescription coverage
  • Premiums
  • Deductibles
  • Copays
  • Coinsurance
  • Additional coverage like dental, vision, hearing, fitness programs, mail-order pharmacy, and wellness services.

It’s also crucial to make sure your healthcare providers are on your plan and in your network.

“With the Medicare Advantage plan, you have to consider network. And when we say network, folks, their minds automatically go to physicians,” says Aldridge. “And that’s just one piece of the puzzle. You have to think about hospitals, you have to think about labs, and you have to think about your specialist.”

To learn more about your Medicare options check out FloridaSHINE.org or YourMedicareConnect.com.

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