By Diana Brown
It’s finally here again… it’s Medicare Open Enrollment or more precisely, the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Every year, from October 15 to December 7, Medicare-eligible people can do pretty much anything they want with their coverage. Simply put, you can add, drop, or change virtually any plan and change to or from any insurance company.
Piece of cake, right? Wrong! Many people don’t want to relive the information overload they experienced when first becoming eligible. Remembering the volume of phone calls, emails and mountains of regular mail would understandably send anyone running for cover!
Please know, this time will be different. First, you’ve now had some experience with what the plan you originally selected can or cannot do for you. Were you happy with the premium? Were all your doctors in the network? Were all your prescriptions covered at a reasonable cost? Did you get any of the extra benefits like Dental, Vision, Hearing, Telehealth, At Home Caregiver support or Over-the-counter cash allowances?
If the answer to any of these is no, then now is the time for you to get answers so you can make the right choices for 2024.
How can you get this information without reigniting the previous overload? The answer – YOU need to initiate contact. Look for advertising from local people you know will be able to get you what you are looking for, like myself. We WON’T SELL your information to strangers. This simple tip will allow you to rest assured that you will not be overwhelmed again.
Once you’ve decided to call, be ready with information about the plan you currently have such as what you’re paying (some plans can be as little as $0 per month!) and what it is you would like to improve or change with a new plan. Also, make sure you are ready to answer questions about your doctors and prescriptions so you can make sure what you are considering changing to will provide you with all you expect. You’re looking for no surprises so it’s a good idea to also have a few questions ready of your own!
The bottom-line message is this: be not afraid. This time of year (AEP) is designed to help you make improvements, not make you relive the trials and tribulations of your initial enrollment.
Reach out and learn ways to make things better for you. Your health may change from year to year but your need for excellent health insurance remains constant.
Follow these simple steps and make 2024 your best health insurance year yet!
Diana Brown is a qualified, licensed agent with Florida Health Connector, your local agency for Florida Blue, providing Medicare plans throughout the State. She has been licensed with the State of Florida for over 25 years. She can be reached at (850) 819-4135.