It's time to review your Medicare coverage. Medicare's "open enrollment" starts October 15th and runs through December 7th for coverage in 2016. Officially called the Annual Election Period (AEP), this is the only time (with only a few special exceptions) you can make changes to your Medicare coverage.
Most people on Medicare will benefit from an annual Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) review. Your prescriptions may have changed in the past year, and the way your current plan covers your drugs (the "formulary") may be changing for 2016.
If you have a traditional Medicare Supplement (Medigap) policy with Original Medicare benefits be VERY CAREFUL about replacing it with a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan. While a Medicare Advantage plan may offer very low monthly premiums, your coverage options - especially the choice of doctors and hospitals - will be very limited compared to Original Medicare with a full-coverage Medigap policy.
During the AEP, you may:
REMEMBER: Medicare does NOT cover long-term care.
If you don't have LTC insurance, this is also an excellent time to consider all of your retirement health care plans.
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