Eliza Weeden | APPRISE/Ombudsman Coordinator, Centre County Office Of Aging
Fall is here and open enrollment is right around the corner. Open enrollment occurs from October 15- December 7th each year. This is the time of the year that all individuals with Medicare are able to review and make changes to their Medicare Advantage Plans, Prescription Drug Plans, or switch back to original Medicare. It is encouraged for people to review their plans during open enrollment as the coverage and services may change from year to year. Any changes made during the open enrollment period will take effect on January 1st. Open enrollment is also the time of year when people who missed their original deadline for enrolling into a Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan may join the program.
When reviewing your plan it is important to pay attention to the “Annual Notice of Change” paperwork. This notice is sent out prior to open enrollment and will detail any expected changes for the health or drug plan next year.
You should also review the plans out of pocket expenses; this includes annual deductibles, monthly premiums, copayments, etc. Will these increase, and by how much?
If your Medicare Advantage Plan covers your prescription medicine, you should also ensure that the health benefits will also fit your needs for the next year, are your providers in network, are you able to see providers outside of your network, etc.?
After reviewing your plan, if you are satisfied with the coverage, no other action is needed and your plan will continue next year.
If after reviewing your plan, you wish to make changes you are able to do so in 3 different ways:
Select and enroll in the new plan on the medicare.gov website.
You can call the plan directly for enrollment
Contact your local APPRISE office for an appointment at 814-355-6716. The Centre County APPRISE office is located in the Willowbank Building in Bellefonte.