Medicare Open Enrollment: Do I Need to Do Anything if I Like My Plan?
What to consider come Open Enrollment if you're happy with your current plan.
Each year as the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare approaches, it’s good practice to take some time to review your current coverage and consider whether or not a change is in order.
Some Medicare beneficiaries find that they are perfectly happy with their current health coverage and would simply like to keep everything the same.
So, if you like your current Medicare plan, do you need to do anything during the Open Enrollment Period? The short answer: No, you don’t need to do anything.
However, regardless of how content you are with your current plan, there are a few factors you will want to review each year when Open Enrollment rolls around.
What Options Do I Have During Medicare Open Enrollment?
During the Open Enrollment Period, all Medicare beneficiaries have the option to switch from their current plans or sign up for a new plan. Here are the changes you can make during this period:
You can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or from a Medicare Advantage plan to Original Medicare.
You can switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to a different Medicare Advantage plan, or from one Medicare Part D plan to another Medicare Part D plan.
For those that did not enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when first eligible during their Initial Enrollment Period, you can enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.
Note that if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, most plans include prescription drug coverage.
If you are enrolled in Original Medicare, on the other hand, you have the option of purchasing a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
Keep in mind, however, that if you are enrolling in a Part D plan during Open Enrollment, a late enrollment penalty may apply.
Reviewing Your Prescription Drug Coverage
Even if your current plan covered all the medications that you needed in the previous year, it’s possible that your plan’s list of covered medications is set to change in the upcoming year.
So, even if you’re happy with your current plan, it’s important that you review it during Open Enrollment to ensure that you still have the plan that’s best fit for you.
Each plan has its own drug formulary, which is the list of medications covered by that plan. Drug formularies rank their medications into tiers: lower-tier drugs are less expensive and higher-tier drugs are the more expensive options.
These formularies vary by plan and can also change from year to year. It’s not uncommon for a plan to switch their preferred choices or drop medications from their formularies all together.
For this reason, what may be your best plan option one year can switch in the next year.
Reviewing your coverage to prepare for the Open Enrollment Period is a great way to ensure you have the plan that’s right for you in terms of both coverage and cost.
Up Next: Medicare Enrollment Guide