Medicare’s annual open enrollment period is right around the corner. In fact, beginning October 15 and running through December 7, newly qualified patients and current Medicare beneficiaries may review their coverage options and select their health plans for 2021.
Finding a health insurance plan that provides the coverage you need is critical and we’ve previously discussed the importance of considering available options during open enrollment and this year is no exception. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to choosing your health insurance benefits, and here is a checklist you can use as you assess your coverage options in the coming weeks:
- Find all of the options for your area. Medicare plan options vary by location, so it is important to determine which options you have nearby and whether the pharmacy that’s convenient for you is in-network or preferred for your plan. Choosing an in-network or preferred pharmacy may help save you money on your prescriptions. The Medicare Plan Finder is a great tool to get you started and includes the latest star rating of how plans are performing.
- Check to see which plans cover your medicines. Once you’ve found all of the plan options in your area, it is time to narrow the list to plans that cover your needed medicines. If you don’t already have one, work with your doctor to make a list of your medications and use the Medicare Plan Finder to find plans that cover them.
- Compare the costs of each plan. While there may be a number of plans in your area that cover your needed medications, these plans can vary by cost. Make sure you consider monthly premiums, co-pays, co-insurance, and other out-of-pocket costs required.
- Consider all the features before selecting your plan. Some plans may offer mail-order pharmacy refills while other plans might allow you to refill your medicines at your local pharmacy. As a last step in selecting your plan, you’ll want to choose the option that has the features that work best for you.
By following this checklist, you can narrow down your 2021 Medicare plan options to find what works for you. For more helpful tips and information about open enrollment and Medicare Part D, visit PhRMA.org/PartD.
Tom Wilbur is Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA focusing on federal advocacy priorities including Medicare and intellectual property. Prior to joining PhRMA, Tom worked in politics and on Capitol Hill, most recently responsible for communications and strategy for U.S. Rep. Fred Upton and the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Tom is a proud Michigander and outside of the office enjoys reading, running, hiking, golfing, live music, and spending time with family and friends.