By Joni Lindquist

 What is the Medicare open enrollment period?

The Medicare open enrollment period is the time during which people with Medicare can make new choices and pick plans that work best for them. Each year, Medicare plans typically change what they cost and cover. In addition, your health-care needs may have changed over the past year. The open enrollment period is your opportunity to switch Medicare health and prescription drug plans to better suit your needs.

When does the open enrollment period start?

The Medicare open enrollment period begins on October 15 and runs through December 7. Any changes made during open enrollment are effective as of January 1, 2019.

During the open enrollment period, you can:
• Join a Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Plan
• Switch from one Part D plan to another Part D plan
• Drop your Part D coverage altogether
• Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
• Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare
• Change from one Medicare Advantage Plan to a different Medicare Advantage Plan

One change for 2019:  There is a second opportunity for Medicare Advantage enrollees to make changes. This new period is January 1 – March 31, 2019, for folks who have signed up in the fall for Medicare Advantage to make changes to their plan.

What should you do?

Now is a good time to review your current Medicare plan. As part of the evaluation, you may want to consider several factors. For instance, are you satisfied with the coverage and level of care you’re receiving with your current plan? Are your premium costs or out-of-pocket expenses too high? Has your health changed, or do you anticipate needing medical care or treatment?

The open enrollment period is the time to determine whether your current plan will cover your treatment and what your potential out-of-pocket costs may be. If your current plan doesn’t meet your health-care needs or fit within your budget, you can switch to a plan that may work better for you.

Where can you get more information?

Determining what coverage you have now and comparing it to other Medicare plans can be confusing and complicated. Pay attention to notices you receive from Medicare and from your plan, and take advantage of the help available by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or by visiting the Medicare website, www.medicare.gov.

We can connect you to experts in Medicare to help you through your choices.  Contact Joni Lindquist at jlindquist@AspyreWealth.com or 913-345-1881. We help successful people Master What’s Next® – whatever phase of life they are in. For more information or to schedule a consultation, visit AspyreWealth.com.

This information was developed by Broadridge, an independent third party. It is general in nature, is not a complete statement of all information necessary for making an investment decision, and is not a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell any security. Investments and strategies mentioned may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance may not be indicative of future results.

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