This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson signing into law the Medicare program. Since its inception July 30, 1965 the program has seen many changes. Medicare and Medicaid started as basic insurance programs for Americans who didn’t have health insurance, the programs have changed over the years to provide more and more Americans with access to quality and affordable health care.
You don’t need to sign up for Medicare each year. However, each year you have a chance to review your coverage and make changes. Most Medicare beneficiaries should receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from their existing Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan providers by September 30th.
Individual Medicare plans can change each year—things like cost, coverage, and which providers and pharmacies are in network. So it is important, that each year during the open enrollment period you dedicate some time to review your plan.
During this open enrollment period you can make changes to various aspects of your coverage.
- You can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa.
- You can also switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another; or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.
- And if you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during the general open enrollment.
Visit the Medicare Plan Finder at Medicare.gov/find-a-plan. With the Medicare Plan Finder, you can compare plans and learn about the coverage, benefits, and estimated costs for each plan. For further information and questions, contact Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Want to learn more about Medicare, or the different types of coverage options available? MSAA’s My Health Insurance Guide provides comprehensive, easy-to-follow information and resources for the MS community about Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans.
Need additional help?
Get personalized counseling and assistance in choosing coverage. State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provide free, in depth, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance. Visit https://www.shiptacenter.org/ to locate the office nearest you.