Medicare drug plans and Medicare Advantage/HMO plans can change every year. It is important to review the information sent by the current Medicare stand-alone drug plan or Medicare Advantage/HMO carrier in order to decide whether or not to make a change in a stand-alone prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage/HMO plan coverage during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment, which begins on October 15, 2018 and ends on December 7, 2018. Please remember that any changes that you make will not be effective until January 1, 2019.
**Each year Medicare requires the insurance carriers for stand-alone drug plans and for Medicare Advantage/HMO plans to provide their current members with information on their plan benefits for the upcoming year in September. Medicare beneficiaries on stand-alone drug plans or Medicare Advantage/HMO plans should not assume that the 2019 plan co-pays, etc. will be the same as 2018.
If an individual is satisfied with what they see after reading the plan materials sent from their current carrier for the upcoming 2019 year, they don’t have to do anything. The stand-alone prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage/HMO will then automatically renew for 2019. If they are not satisfied with the changes in their benefit coverage for 2019, they should look at what other options are available in their area and then make their selection for their new 2019 coverage during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment October 15 – December 7, 2018.
*NOTE: Medicare Supplement/Medigap policies do not change during Medicare Annual Enrollment. They are defined by Medicare but can be offered by different insurance carriers at different premiums.