medicare image webPreparing for the 2022 Medicare Annual Enrollment - Every year, Medicare changes the benefits on A and B, often increasing the deductibles and copays for medical services. 

In addition, they change when a person will enter and exit the coverage gap under Part D. Medicare must allow Part D and Part C plans to adjust for the changes in the Medicare program, resulting in the Medicare Annual Enrollment period.

During this time, you can change from Part D to Part D, Advantage to Advantage, from Advantage back to original Medicare, or from original Medicare to an Advantage plan. Part D and Part C plans must inform enrollees of plan changes no later than September 30th by sending out an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). The ANOC provides enrollees a side-by-side comparison of their current plan vs. next year's plan.

For those wanting to change, there is a seven-week window from October 15th – December 7th. Changes become effective January 1st. Why would I change? Carefully review your ANOC. If you have a Part D plan, do they still cover all your medications? Did the premium increase substantially? Are your preferred pharmacies still in network? (Remember, if you have Medicare as primary with a supplement, this means you.) Medicare Advantage plans update networks each year. Are your doctors still in network? Have the benefits changed in a way not suitable to you and your needs? AEP is NOT for Medigap plans. Medigap plans do not change your benefits each year and do not require an enrollment period. You can review your Medigap plan premium anytime during the year. I recommend you stay away from doing that during the AEP because agents and companies are swamped with calls and applications.

Sign up for a mymedicare.gov account. This allows you to see claims during the year and research your drug plan and save your drug list. If you need help, contact your agent and if you don’t have one, feel free to contact Daniel Banks, President, Silver Crest Insurance, Inc., 610-868-5801.

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