Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.
Slide Show

1 of 9

8 Steps to Picking the Right Medicare Plans During Open Enrollment

Getty Images

Most people fill Medicare’s coverage gaps by buying a Medicare supplement (medigap) plan and a Part D prescription-drug plan, or they get both medical and drug coverage from a private insurer with a Medicare Advantage plan. You have from October 15 to December 7 each year to pick a Medicare Part D prescription-drug plan or a Medicare Advantage plan for the year ahead. You can switch from one Part D plan to another, or from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. You can also switch into a Medicare Advantage plan. However, if you have Medicare Advantage and want to switch to a medigap plan plus a Part D plan, you may have limited medigap options depending on your health—although you can choose any Part D plan during open enrollment. (For more information about how to choose between Medicare Advantage or medigap and Part D, see How to Fill Medicare Coverage Gaps).

The plan that was best for you over the past year may not be the best one next year. That may be because the drugs you take or the doctors you see have changed. Or it may be because the coverage has changed under your plan for next year—your drugs may be moving to a more expensive pricing tier with higher co-payments, or your doctors may be leaving your Medicare Advantage plan’s network. Or new plans may be introduced in your area that are a better match for you. Aetna, for example, is introducing a new, low-premium Part D plan in 20 states, and United Healthcare is expanding its Medicare Advantage plans into 100 new counties in 2018. Because you can change plans every year, you can focus specifically on your drugs and dosages or the type of health care you need now; you can switch again next year if your needs or your options change.

Let’s get started.

SEE ALSO: Guide to Medicare Open Enrollment for 2018

View as One Page

Check Out

Kiplinger's Latest Online Broker Rankings

Advertisement