Open Enrollment is that time of year when you can change or add your healthcare plan either with your employer or through Medicare.
The enrollment period for Medicare is October 15 through December 7, 2021. All changes made during this period are effective on January 1, 2022.
Brent Hess, Director of Sales for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah, says when you think about a Medicare Advantage plan or any health plan, the first thing that you should be focused on is the medical benefits, ensuring things like your doctor coverage, your hospital coverage and also your pharmacy coverage will take care of your needs.
Hess says if your doctors have changed, or your medical conditions have changed, you should be looking at new options.
"There are a variety of things to look at when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans. The first one being the monthly premiums. How much are you going to be paying each month for your plan," says Hess.
He says some plans have a zero dollar monthly premium, while others can be much higher.
Hess says, "The second thing would be deductibles, so this is the amount you generally would pay before the insurance would pick up the bill."
The final thing to consider is something called cost sharing. "That would be co-insurance or co-pay, for example. when you go to the doctor you'd pay a fixed copay for that particular service, so those are a few of the features that you want to consider when looking at cost," Hess says.
Hess says service is also something to consider when choosing the best plan for you or a loved one. "When you call into the organization, where are you calling? Are they local? Do they understand your provider situation? Do they understand the lay of the land, if you will," says Hess.
Hess says you should also check the ranking of a plan for its quality on the site cms.gov. He recommends choosing plans that have 4-Stars or higher.
There are plans that also offer a number of other perks like gym memberships and nutrition support and more, so be sure to look at those options as well.
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