By Barrett White
Medicare open enrollment for 2021 began October 15, 2020, and will end on December 7, 2020.
With highs in the 80s this week it may not feel like autumn, but rest assured – it’s the end of the year and open enrollment is here already! At long last, 2020 is nearly past us. As you prepare for the new year, you must ask yourself: Are you covered for 2021?
It is recommended that as patients become eligible for Medicare at age 65 and above, they schedule their initial Medicare appointment, the Initial Preventive Physical Examination (IPPE). IPPE appointments are often scheduled with geriatricians, doctors who have special training in managing common conditions and illnesses of those aged 65 and above. Having this initial health care conversation with a geriatrician will help you focus on your primary health concerns, and can better inform you about what kind of coverage you might need. The IPPE exam should be done in-person, but other visit types may be able to be conducted via telemedicine if desired.
According to the official Medicare website, you can find a checklist of the items that you might need to help streamline your enrollment process. Whether you are new to Medicare or a current recipient, Medicare Open Enrollment is an important time to talk to your health care provider about your health care needs and determine what type of coverage you should enroll in – or what changes you should make to your coverage for the year ahead.
Some things for you to consider before enrolling yourself in Medicare for 2021:
What Can You Do During the 2020-2021 Medicare Open Enrollment Period (OEP)?
- You may wish to change your plan from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa
- Do you want to choose a different Medicare Advantage plan?
- Would you like to make changes to your current Part D coverage?
- If you would like to apply for Part D… will fees be required?
What Can’t You Do During the Medicare OEP?
- You may not enroll in Part B without a qualifying medical event
- You cannot apply for Medicare Advantage Plans that are not in your geographic region
- You won’t be able to make changes between your Medicare plans without answering medical questions
You May Want to Change Your Plan If:
- There is a significant premium increase
- Your doctor is no longer in your Medicare Advantage plan network
- Your medications are no longer covered
Medicare open enrollment for 2021 runs from October 15, 2020 to December 7, 2021. Legacy Geriatricians have immediate appointments available for Medicare patients, whether you are looking to schedule an IPPE, wellness exam, or an appointment to discuss other health care concerns. Call in at (832) 548-5000 or visit LegacyCommunityHealth.org