October 18, 2018, 2:53 PM

Medicare Open Enrollment

By Ryan Pope, CFP®

Fall is a time for change; change in weather, change in school, and change in Medicare.

The Open Enrollment period for Medicare runs from October 15 to December 7 and is the only opportunity to make changes to your Medicare coverage for the year (unless you experience a life event). Changes made during this period take effect January 1st.

During the Open Enrollment period, you may:

  • Change from Original Medicare (Part A) to a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage
  • Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage
  • Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D)
  • Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
  • Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely

 Upcoming Changes for 2019:

  • Medicare Part B standard premium increased from $134 (2018) to $135.50 (2019)
  • Increase in Part D drug plans available (total of 901 available plans)
  • Income Adjustment Amounts for Parts B and D
  • Broader coverage opportunities for Part C

If you have not reviewed your current plan, now is the time to do so. Switching can potentially save you hundreds of dollars if you have been stuck in a plan that may not address a change in medications or a change in your health.


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