Act now, and you can make changes to your Medicare coverage that will go live on January 1st. Are you required to make changes? No, as keeping things as they are will renew your coverage automatically.
With that being said, there are benefits to at least taking a look at your coverage to ensure everything is kosher. If you don’t, 2020 could be a medically costly and inconvenient year since out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays, and other things could change.
To keep more cash in your pocket or keep you adequately covered, be sure to avoid these common Medicare open enrollment mistakes:
Thinking your health will remain the same
It may not be a pleasant thought, but your health could change at any moment, even if you do your best to stay in tip-top shape.
An accident could occur that you have zero control over. You could experience an unexpected medical illness. You could also encounter new issues due to aging.
Regardless of what causes a change in your circumstances, know that Medicare does not cover every problem. If your coverage is lacking in one area, you may want to shore it up to keep your potential costs down in case of an emergency.
For instance, if you take no medicine at the moment, you could be thrilled with your coverage and possible out-of-pocket expenses. Should you start needing a prescription, however, you may wish that you had made some changes while Medicare open enrollment allowed you to do so.
Are you approaching the age of 65? Now might be the perfect time to think about changing your coverage while you can. According to an AARP survey, four out of five people age 65 or older consume at least two prescriptions, while half take four or more.
In short, the need to take medicine and increased costs could be on the horizon if 65 is creeping up on you.
Thinking you have no options
Even though your current coverage may fit your budget, it doesn’t hurt to look at what new options are at your disposal.
Insurance companies roll out new plans continuously. Many of these extend to new coverage areas, so if you were limited last year, this year could be another story.
Unfortunately, your location will dictate the options you have. Living in rural areas, such as parts of Alaska or Wyoming, for example, could mean little to pick from, especially when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans.
You won’t lose your coverage if you choose to do nothing during open enrollment, as it should automatically renew. Still, ignoring this period can come with consequences.
Many things can change from year to year, such as participating hospitals, pharmacies, doctors, and providers. The same holds for services covered, premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.
Keeping this in mind, you should review any possible changes to ensure you’ll get the coverage you need when January 1st rolls around.