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Open enrollment is here: How to get the most out of your Medicare plan

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:39 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Every October, Medicare beneficiaries have the opportunity to make changes to their health benefits during Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). This year, as we continue to fight a global pandemic, it is more important than ever to have comprehensive health coverage. Seniors 65 and older concerned about being exposed to COVID-19 still have ways to shop during AEP without leaving their homes.

October 15 is the first day of the open enrollment period. Medicare Advantage expert Shannon Adams joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to offer tips on making the most of this open enrollment period.

Some of her tips include:

  • Go online: Visit Medicare’s Plan Finder (Medicare.gov) or attend a virtual educational session.
  • Pick up the phone: Call individual plans or independent brokers and ask questions so you clearly understand all your options.
  • Review changes: Check your Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) document (mailed in late September) to see if anything in your plan will change.
  • Weigh extras: Pay attention to extra benefits that are not available in Original Medicare but may be built into an MA plan, such as dental, vision, transportation or telehealth visits.
  • Consider costs: Know the plan’s premium or monthly cost; check for out-of-pocket costs, including copays and deductibles on doctor and hospital visits and prescription drugs.
  • Know your network: Check to see if your favorite facilities and doctors are in-network.
  • Don’t forget prevention: Talk to your doctor about necessary screenings and vaccinations, including the flu shot which will be especially important this year.
  • Safety first: If you need to do a face-to-face meeting, be sure to follow all the proper COVID-19 safety precautions as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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