We’ve talked before about the importance of considering options and switching plans during open enrollment. One recent study noted beneficiaries can save an average of $400 to $600 per year by switching. And an analysis out from Kaiser Family Foundation last week noted in 2017 more than half of Part D plan enrollees are facing either a decrease in their current premium or an increase of less than $5 per month.
Given the variation that can occur in plans from year-to-year, here are some quick tips on how to switch plans during open enrollment, which is running now through Wednesday, December 7.
- Evaluate your current plan and new plan options (use our Medicare Open Enrollment Checklist)
Remember that plans change year-to-year so even if you like your current plan, check to see if it will continue offering the things you like or if anything is changing. Shop around to see if there are other options that might work better for you.
- Use the Medicare Plan Finder
This tool is available and free to use to compare coverage, premiums, quality and out-of-pocket costs among your plan options. Knowing what your options and costs are is important if you want to switch plans.
- Pick your plan for 2017
Switching Medicare plans during open enrollment is simple. You don’t need to do anything with your current 2016 plan. Just enroll in your choice for 2017 and you’ll be switched for the start of the new year. Learn more on Medicare.gov here.
Continue checking in with Medicare Monday for more open enrollment tips at PhRMA.org/PartD.
Allyson Funk Ally is a senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, and other public programs. Her previous experience includes leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients, and working for the governor of Louisiana. Ally enjoys travel, trying new restaurants and spending time with Buddy, her 9-year-old rescue Pomeranian. In the fall, she and her husband are almost always wearing Saints gear.