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What You Need to Know about Medicare Open Enrollment

October 10, 2019 12:50 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

What You Need to Know about Medicare Open Enrollment

(Note: This information applies to all Medicare - Eligible persons, whether or not they are AT&T retirees. AASBCR® members should consult information on the website that pertains specifically to AT&T coverage options and how to obtain coverage.)

The 2020 Medicare Open Enrollment starts October 15 and ends December 7. The National Retiree Legislative Network (NRLN) has created a presentation to help you understand your options during the 8-week period. Click here to access the presentation. Caution: when reviewing the presentation, the premiums, deductible and out-of-pocket dollar limits shown are representative of 2019 information. You should substitute 2020 information that you find. Treat this information as examples only.

Americans usually enroll in original Medicare or Medicare Advantage when they are eligible at age 65. Each fall participants in the program have an opportunity to review and possibly change their coverage. The NRLN's presentation provides information for seniors to think about for their health care plan for the coming year.

Your Medicare enrollment decision is whether to use original fee-for-service Medicare, whether to include a Medigap plan to cover the 20% of costs that Medicare does not cover, or a Medicare Advantage plan. Most of the 64 million people enrolled in Medicare in 2019 use the original program, but 34% are in Medicare Advantage plans provided by private insurance companies. Another important decision is Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage - whether that is a stand-alone plan, or wrapped into a Medicare Advantage plan.

While Medicare Advantage plans often include extra benefits, including some level of dental, vision or hearing services, gym memberships, etc., the trade-off is that Medicare Advantage enrollees must use health care providers within their networks, or pay more for out-of-network services.

Enrollees in original Medicare with the Medigap supplement have access to a much wider range of providers, including specialized medical facilities with a national reputation.  Original Medicare participants with the Medigap supplement do not need to navigate the referral requirements and prior authorization steps required by many Medicare Advantage plans.

 The NRLN urges you to take advantage of the work that has been put into the presentation that you can view with Adobe Reader software. 

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