Choosing a Medicare Part D Plan in a COVID-19 Environment
2020 has been a year of unprecedented change generated by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Social distancing and lockdowns created the need for us to go about our health care differently. Such changes include learning how to use telehealth communications, adjusting to doctors’ office hour restrictions, and an increased use of prescription home delivery.
Don’t let these changes impact your Part D Open Enrollment period, beginning on October 15, 2020. Now more than ever, it is important to be diligent and take the time to review your health care needs and understand your prescription drug (Part D) options. This is especially true if you are new to Medicare, as the choices you make now can financially impact your Medicare costs down the road.
Starting your research early will be equally important as some of the traditional in-person resources you may have used previously, such as local Medicare workshops or broker consultations, may need to be scheduled well in advance or done virtually.
To help navigate the complicated Part D terrain in this coronavirus environment, here are some tips and new resources that will provide you with the information you will need to compare plans, understand your options and help you choose the Medicare Part D plan that’s right for your health care needs – all of which, including enrollment, can be done from the safety of your home.
- Find Reliable Online Tools – Medicare.gov offers detailed information about Part D plans and a tool to compare how drugs are covered. Watching this Roadmap for Medicare webinar “Open Enrollment: How Choosing the Plan That’s Best for You Can Save You Money” will provide valuable enrollment insights. Additionally, signing up for our Medicare newsletters will give you free access to our Roadmap eBook where you’ll find helpful checklists and a step-by-step guide to Medicare Part D.
- State Trained Counselors & Licensed Agents – These experts are available online or by phone. Programs such as the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) have trained counselors in each state that can help you understand your Medicare plan choices and answer questions about switching plans at no cost to you. If you are currently enrolled in Part D, you can easily find that contact information in your Evidence of Coverage. You can also speak to a licensed Medicare agent if you need additional help.
- Already Enrolled in a Plan – As of October 1, be sure to check out your plan’s website and keep an eye out for benefit changes included in your Plan Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) mailing.
Staying safe in these uncertain times is paramount. By properly preparing for Medicare Part D enrollment, you can help keep yourself safe and healthy with the right plan to service your prescription medication needs.