Medicare Open Enrollment

 For a retired couple*, healthcare costs can exceed $10,000 per year and over $250,000 for a lifetime. It’s pretty obvious, given those totals, why making the right Medicare choices is critical. In addition to ever-increasing health care costs, Medicare premiums are projected to go up at a rate that is higher than the 1.7% Social Security cost of living increase for 2013. So, even if you dread digging into your Medicare options, there is no time like the present. It is officially Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15-December 7, 2012) which means it is time to review your A’s, B’s, C’s and D’s. If you are age 65 or older and are enrolled in Medicare, during Open Enrollment, you can make changes to:  

  • Medicare Part D plans
  • Medicare Advantage *
  • Medigap Plans

*Medicare Advantage plans can also be changed from January 1 to February 12, 2012.

It is just a short window so it is important that you carefully evaluate your needs and the available plans to make sure that you are in the most appropriate and cost-effective plan for your situation. You can do your own analysis by using the online tools provided by or look for the help provided by local senior organizations or independent Medicare consultants. Taking the time to find the best plan for you can be financially life changing. Contact your financial planner for resources in your area.