Are you paying higher Medicare premiums because of your income? Now is the time to try to reduce next year's bill.
The federal health-benefits program for older adults and the disabled has started its annual open-enrollment period, which runs through Dec. 7.
Re-evaluating Medicare coverage is as important as rebalancing an investment portfolio. As your needs change, make adjustments—while ensuring you get the same services at the best price.
But very few people do it. Only 15% of 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries who are 65 or older said they had changed their Medicare plans in the past year or plan to do so in the next 12 months, a recent Allsup survey found. Each year, people who use Medicare have to choose at least a few areas of their coverage. In traditional Medicare—comprising parts A (mainly hospitalization), B (outpatient care, including doctor visits) and D (prescription drugs)—you have to choose a drug plan. You also can buy a separate Medigap policy to help insure costs that otherwise aren't covered. Instead of using parts B and D, you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan—technically Part C—which has a set group of providers and might also cover drugs, dental work and eye appointments.