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Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,600
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Message 1 of 11 (10 Views)

m571562k wrote:

Thanks for clarifying "Open Enrollment". I've been getting mixed information regarding October 15 open enrollment. Some have told me I can apply for Part B during this period, but now I'm reading that's a special enrollment to change plans. Why is this system so difficult? Why can't Medicare contact people directly, via US mail or email, to let us know what to expect. We've paid into this system so nothing is free. It's easy to miss out on important life-changing events. Thanks, again.  MK


Circumstances are different for everybody.

 

For a lot of people, they just hit 65, and enroll in Medicare both Part A and Part B and drop whatever other coverage they might have at the time.

 

However some people just keep on working, have coverage there and delay signing up for Part B until they leave their employer.   Many employer plans can work with Part A since it is premium free to the beneficiaries who have paid their allotted payroll taxes thru the years.  You can sign up for Part A when you hit 65 regardless of working, there are only a few reasons why you wouldn't want to signup for Part A.  

 

When you lose employer coverage, you will need to pick up Part B.  Employers should give  documentation that you are losing coverage and this is relayed to CMS when you pick up Part B so as not to be assessed a penalty since you had credible coverage during the time when you did not have Part B.

 

READ THIS:

Medicare.gov - Part A & Part B Sign Up Periods.

 

from the link ~

Between January 1–March 31 each year

You can sign up for Part A and/or Part B during the General Enrollment Period between January 1–March 31 each year if both of these apply:

  • You didn't sign up when you were first eligible.
  • You aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (see below).

You must pay premiums for Part A and/or Part B. Your coverage will start July 1. You may have to pay a higher premium for late enrollment in Part A and/or a higher premium for late enrollment in Part B.

 

The reason why you haven't signed up for Part B makes a difference in whether or not you will have to pay that late enrollment period.

Trusted Social Butterfly
Posts: 2,798
Registered: ‎03-07-2012

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Message 2 of 11 (20 Views)

We should not have to go through the process of asking for a separate 'enrollment change' when they allow the following to happen: 1. doctor or hospital decide to leave plan during the current year and 2. plan drops doctor or hospital during the current year.

If we can't change plans during the current year then they should not be allowed to either.

We seem to be nothing but Pawns in a Chess Game.

Trusted Social Butterfly
Posts: 2,798
Registered: ‎03-07-2012

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Message 3 of 11 (22 Views)

I for one am sick and tired of getting books that do not tell me exactly what I need to know, like changes only. If nothing is changing then we don't need to be re-reading it every year.

This system which our health plans also use is way too confusing to older americans and I am beginning to think that this is just what they want to do to us.

I had a plan before I went to UHC/AARP that sent out letters when a hospital, doctor etc. was no longer going to be in the plan. No one else does this. My primary even didn't notify me properly.

I know our government is all screwed up but AARP shouldn't be following in their footsteps.

 

 

Recognized Social Butterfly
Posts: 919
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Message 4 of 11 (33 Views)

m571562k wrote:

 I've been getting mixed information regarding October 15 open enrollment. Some have told me I can apply for Part B during this period, but now I'm reading that's a special enrollment to change plans.


Maybe you can apply for Part B during this period but if so it has nothing to do with so-called "Medicare open enrollment." The reasons under which which you personally might be able to apply for Part B at this time (as opposed to waiting until January 2018) are listed on page 21-22 of "Medicare and You, 2018." I do not know if this is a complete list so double check with the free unbiased volunteer at your local senior center or similar facility.

Recognized Social Butterfly
Posts: 919
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Message 5 of 11 (36 Views)

m571562k wrote:

 Why can't Medicare contact people directly, via US mail or email, to let us know what to expect.


They should have done this for you already via this bookmedandyou2018.jpg

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-15-2017

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Message 6 of 11 (42 Views)

Thanks for clarifying "Open Enrollment". I've been getting mixed information regarding October 15 open enrollment. Some have told me I can apply for Part B during this period, but now I'm reading that's a special enrollment to change plans. Why is this system so difficult? Why can't Medicare contact people directly, via US mail or email, to let us know what to expect. We've paid into this system so nothing is free. It's easy to miss out on important life-changing events. Thanks, again.  MK

Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,600
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

[ Edited ]
Message 7 of 11 (78 Views)

SassiLady wrote:

This is kind of difficult to do when AARP sends out a book entitled "Annual Notice of Changes for 2018".

 

Now you have a 1/2 inch thick book that doesn't list important things like what medications and/or doctors are or are not going to be in the plan any longer or what meds are being shifted to a different tier. DUH? These are important things that should be listed for us. We should not have to spend time checking our doctors and meds and then who knows if they will change in a couple of months.


Communications from your current plan (MA, PDP or a combined pla with both coverages) should give all the new info for 2018.

 

Are you saying that they didn't give you any details on how your current plan will look in 2018?

 

The formulary is not there describing all the new detail for 2018 plans - ?

Deductibe, Donut hole, what's covered if anything in this period, catastrophic coverage, tiers of drugs, copays and any special rules on specific medication.

 

I could understand the doctor list since these are by area but you should have a place online to look them up.

 

Yes, things can change periodically with providers and medications but they are required to send you a notice and give you a chance to make accommodations.

Medicare gives them the rules on this and you can report any discrepancy or personal disadvantages to Medicare.

 

If a plan changes to much during the contract period - providers or medications - which affects you adversely, on a case by case basis, Medicare might allow you a special enrollment period.

 Medicare.gov - Special Circumstances (Special Enrollment Period)

Trusted Social Butterfly
Posts: 2,798
Registered: ‎03-07-2012

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Message 8 of 11 (88 Views)

This is kind of difficult to do when AARP sends out a book entitled "Annual Notice of Changes for 2018".

 

Now you have a 1/2 inch thick book that doesn't list important things like what medications and/or doctors are or are not going to be in the plan any longer or what meds are being shifted to a different tier. DUH? These are important things that should be listed for us. We should not have to spend time checking our doctors and meds and then who knows if they will change in a couple of months.

Highlighted
Recognized Social Butterfly
Posts: 919
Registered: ‎01-02-2012

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

[ Edited ]
Message 9 of 11 (136 Views)

Everyone beware that the popular term used in the press, "Medicare open enrollment," is very misleading, particularly to anyone that is used to the term open enrollment as it relates to a group employee benefits program.

 

The time period Oct 15-Dec 7, 2017 (see Note) is not for open enrollment in Medicare. It is formally called the "annual election period" where you can select a new Part D plan or a new Part C plan or enroll in or drop one of those plans that you currently have without a special exemption applying.

 

But you need to have Part A and/or Part B of Medicare first before you can make such an election relative to C or D. Unless you have a special exemption to enroll in A and/or B, you cannot do that until January (and it will not be effective until next July).

 

NOTE: In the future, early 2019 maybe, you will also be able to elect a Part C plan after January 1. At some point they may separate the Part C and Part D election periods entirely.

Conversationalist
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎02-20-2017

Re: Pay Attention to Open Enrollment

Message 10 of 11 (205 Views)

Yes! Great reminder. Make sure to be aware of all the changes made for 2018 regarding Medicare. The biggest change I found regarding Part D was they increased the discount on brand name drugs from 50% in 2017 to 65% in 2018. Medicare is covering the additional 15%. 

 

https://www.medicarefaq.com/faqs/2018-medicare-part-d-prescription-drug-coverage-changes/