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Medicare open enrollment begins Oct. 15:  Here's what you need to know

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period begins Oct. 15 and, given the COVID-19 pandemic, financial planners are urging beneficiaries to review and choose the plan that best suits their health care needs.  By way of background, Medicare health and drug plans can make changes to costs, coverage, and providers and pharmacies in their networks each year, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS). And Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is the period when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year.  So, what do you need to consider before open enrollment starts?

Review, COVID-19 or not?  Recommend you revisit your current Medicare enrollment options each year to see whether you would be better off in another plan, independent of the current COVID-19 crisis, recommends George Gagliardi, a certified financial planner with Coromandel Wealth Management.  Why so?  Changes in health conditions make revisiting health plans during open enrollment period a necessity. 

“But even if there haven’t been changes on your side, it is worth checking the changes in plans because your physicians may no longer be available under your current plan,” says Gagliardi. “Also, plan costs change, as do reimbursements for different medications that you may be using, so there may be other policies that are more cost-effective for you given your situation.”