Financial advisers should urge their clients who are already enrolled in Medicare to re-shop their Medicare coverage during open enrollment season, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 each year for coverage beginning the following Jan. 1.
During the annual open enrollment period, existing Medicare beneficiaries can switch from original Medicare to an all-inclusive Medicare Advantage Plan. In addition, Medicare Advantage members can switch to a different advantage plan or back to original Medicare, which usually requires buying a supplemental Medigap policy and a Part D prescription drug plan.
All Medicare beneficiaries can switch drug coverage during open enrollment each year, whether a stand-alone Part D policy or as part of a Medicare Advantage plan. Clients should look for plans that offer their specific prescriptions and doses at the best price.
The National Council of Aging offers a free online guide to Medicare open enrollment that recommends focusing on the four Cs: cost, coverage, convenience and customer service.