Medicare Open Enrollment

Eating well and regular check-ups are part of a healthy lifestyle, and so is making sure you have the right health care coverage. Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment period is the time to review your current coverage and decide if there may be a better fit based on changes to your current plan, your budget, or health needs.  

During Medicare Open Enrollment, which runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, you can enroll in or make changes to your Medicare health or prescription drug plan. Your coverage begins Jan. 1, 2021.  

To make Medicare Open Enrollment part of your healthy lifestyle, follow these 5 important steps: 

  1. Follow CDC guidelines to stay safe. The coronavirus affects everyone and  GeorgiaCares understands there are people at increased risk for severe illness when exposed to others. That’s why you can speak with a certified Medicare counselor on the phone to help you decide. We’re here to help you!  
  2. Review your current plan notice. Read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year, especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Look at your plan’s information to make sure your drugs are still covered, and your doctors are still in network. 
  3. Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year, and so can your health needs. Do you need a new primary care doctor? Does your network include the specialist you want for an upcoming surgery? Does your current plan cover your new medication? Does another plan offer the same coverage at a lower cost? Take stock of your health status and determine if you need to make a change. 
  4. Find out if you qualify for help paying for Medicare. Learn about programs to help with the costs of Medicare premiums (through Medicare Savings Programs), your Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance and copayments, and Medicare prescription drug coverage costs. Call Georgia’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at 1-866-552-4464 (Option 4) for assistance. 
  5. Shop for plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. Starting in October, you can use Medicare’s Plan Finder tool at Medicare.gov/find-a-plan to see what plans are offered in your area. A new plan may:
    • Cost less 
    • Cover your drugs 
    • Let you go to the providers you want, like your doctor or pharmacy.

If you find your current coverage still meets your needs, then you’re done. Remember, during Medicare Open Enrollment, you can decide to stay in Original Medicare or join a Medicare Advantage Plan.

If you’re already in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch back to Original Medicare during Open Enrollment. 

GeorgiaCares is administered through the Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services. Visit the DHS Division of Aging Services at www.aging.ga.gov or call toll-free 1-866-552-4464 and select Option 4 to speak to a certified Medicare counselor. 

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