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Medicare: 2020 Fall Open Enrollment Period and More

Oftentimes, health care coverage plays an increasingly integral role in the daily lives of

individuals entering their golden years. At the same time, many seniors find it difficult to navigate through all the moving parts of a federal insurance program. The open enrollment process in particular is a common point of confusion. Therefore, Senior Resources hopes to simplify matters by walking older adults through this critical step of the Medicare program.

Prospective Medicare beneficiaries should keep in mind that there are three main timeframes that constitute as eligible enrollment periods. For instance, the fall open enrollment period for 2020 coverage runs from October 15 through December 7. It serves as a time for seniors 65 and older to sign up for the program and it also allows current Medicare members to review or make changes to their benefits before the new year begins.

In addition to the fall open enrollment period, seniors can also enroll during a seven-month period that includes the three months before they turn 65, their birth month, and the following three months. It’s highly recommended to register for Medicare as soon as you’re eligible, as the longer you wait, the greater your risk of paying a late enrollment fee or experiencing a coverage delay. Finally, general open enrollment takes place from January 1 to March 31, plus special enrollment periods exist outside of the three primary timeslots and are outlined on Medicare’s website.

Medicare coverage is classified into four types: Part A: inpatient/hospital coverage, Part B: outpatient/medical coverage, Part C: Medicare Advantage (alternate way to receive your Medicare benefits), and Part D: prescription drug coverage. As mentioned previously, current Medicare beneficiaries are welcome to make changes to their plan during open enrollment periods. Typically, these adjustments revolve around swapping out one type of Medicare coverage for another and opting for a Medicare prescription drug plan.

When determining the plan best suited for your needs, it’s advised to consider your current living situation and your health. As you may know, long-term care facilities are not generally covered under Medicare plans, but certain healthcare needs that a resident may require while living at a senior community are covered. You’ll want to evaluate your prescription medications, present medical costs, and possible progressive conditions that affect the nervous system, such as Alzheimer’s. Completing this homework in advance will help ensure you select a Medicare plan that best suits your lifestyle.

The more knowledge you acquire about Medicare, the better informed your decisions will be about your health and future.

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