Evaluating your Prescription Drug Plan During Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period
If you have a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, chances are you know what’s coming to your mailbox in the coming weeks… That’s right, the “Annual Notice of Change”. Wait, you don’t know what this is? Perhaps you refer to the it as one of our client’s did last year, “that big book my prescription drug plan sends out…” OK, now you know what’s I’m talking about!
Regardless how you refer to the “Annual Notice of Change” you should expect it in the coming weeks, if you haven’t already received it. The booklet will outline any changes in coverage, costs, or services that will take effect on January 1, 2018 with your prescription drug plan. I can’t stress enough how important it is to review your prescription drug plan annual during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period that takes place between October 15 – December 7. Even if you’ve been absolutely ecstatic with your prescription drug coverage, these plans are calendar year contacts and can change; and unless you evaluate your plan each year, you’ll never know if the upcoming year’s changes affect you or the medications you’re taking.
Important: During Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7) is the only time you can change your Part D prescription drug plan for the following year.
As our team arrived in the office this morning, many of our agents had voicemails from current clients requesting their annual Part D prescription drug plan reviews. (This is a free service we offer to all of our clients during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment). When we heard the messages we knew our clients had already started to receive their “Annual Notice of Change.” I love the fact that prescription drug plans are allowing ample time for clients to review their plans upcoming changes for 2018. (That’s assuming you want to read a couple hundred pages of formularies in small print)! However, we won’t be able to truly evaluate the Part D prescription drug plans for 2018 until they are uploaded to Medicare’s website beginning on October 15.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare for Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period:
For Medicare Instructors Clients: Our trained seasonal staff will start calling clients on Monday, October 16 to remind you of the free annual Part D prescription drug plan reviews our agency offers. If you receive a message from one of our team members, you’ll want to call them back at your earliest convenience.
For Non-Medicare Instructor Clients: If your insurance agent isn’t already reaching out to you to offer a review, you can evaluate Medicare’s Part D prescription drug plans on your own by visiting www.medicare.gov or calling 1-800-Medicare.
In closing, we don’t want you to be someone that discovers in January that your medication is no longer covered or has a higher co-payment when you pick it up at the pharmacy. Taking the 10-15 minutes to review your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan for next year can be a lifesaver to your pocketbook.