This year’s Medicare open enrollment period is quickly coming to a close on December 7. Throughout the fall, we’ve shared resources for reviewing your plan options and making a selection and reviewed the benefits of switching plans—even if your premium may be going down next year.
As one last reminder about the importance of shopping around, I wanted to share another personal story about helping my uncle review his plan options during Thanksgiving last week. Last year, during open enrollment, we saved my uncle about $500 by switching him to a new plan. Once again, I got his current list of medications and went to the Medicare Plan Finder website to review his options.
Heading into 2017, my uncle’s costs under his current plan would be increasing by more than $600, primarily due to an increase in his monthly premium. However, even though his current plan will no longer meet his needs for next year, there are several other lower cost options available. The lowest cost option covers all of his medicines with no restrictions, and he can continue to go to his preferred local pharmacy. Including both premiums and out-of-pocket costs, this new plan will save him over $650 next year compared to what he would have paid if he remained enrolled in his current plan.
There’s only about one week left before open enrollment ends on December 7. Reach out to your family and friends who are enrolled in Medicare and make sure they are taking a few minutes to review their options for 2017.
Ashley Flint Ashley is a former Senior Director in the Policy and Research Department at PhRMA where she led day-to-day policy analysis related to the Medicare Part D program. Prior to PhRMA, Ashley worked as an Associate at HCM Strategists, a health and education consulting firm. Ashley holds a Masters in public policy from George Washington University, with a concentration in health policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and psychology from Emory University.