Medicare open enrollment begins October 15th

 Medicare’s open enrollment season is upon us. That means from now until December 7, you are able to make changes to your Medicare Advantage and prescription drug coverage. If you’re happy with your coverage, you don’t have to do anything. But this could be a good opportunity to make adjustments based on changes in your situation and changes to Medicare.

It pays to take the time to compare plans and shop around. While many plans have maintained or decreased their premiums, more than 450 plans are expected to increase premiums for 2014. You can also expect continued discounts on prescription drugs as part of the Affordable Care Act’s plan to gradually close the Part D coverage or “doughnut hole”.

Even if you’re satisfied, open enrollment presents a great opportunity to make sure you’re getting the most out of Medicare.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

  • Ask yourself some important questions. Have your needs changed? Is your current coverage adequate? Will the cost of your current plan be going up? Are there comparable, lower-cost plans available?
  • Review the annual notice of change from your current plan provider. You should have received this in September.
  • Compare plans using’s Medicare Plan Finder.
  • Call the Medicare Rights Center at 800.333.4114 for free counseling.

Medicare decisions can be complicated. If you have any questions about open enrollment, or if you’d like to discuss how healthcare costs factor into your overall financial plan, please contact your Center planner.