Medicare Open Enrollment Begins for Coverage Review and Changes

Medicare Open Enrollment began on October 15 and will remain open through December 7, 2022. Medicare’s Open Enrollment period gives people with Medicare the opportunity to make changes to their health plan or prescription drug plan, pick a Medicare Advantage plan, or return to Original Medicare (also referred to as Medicare Part A and Part B). Medicare plans can change their offerings and costs every year, and individuals’ health needs can change from year-to-year, too. Now is the time for people with Medicare to review their coverage options and make a choice that best meets their health care needs.

This year, thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act that President Biden signed into law in August, Medicare enrollees will also see lower costs for insulin and vaccines beginning in 2023. S

Starting in 2023, all people with Medicare who take insulin covered by their prescription drug plan or through a traditional pump covered under Original Medicare will pay no more than $35 in cost-sharing for a month’s supply of each covered insulin product. People with Medicare also will not pay a deductible with respect to each covered insulin product. Additionally, people with Medicare drug coverage will pay nothing out-of-pocket for adult vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) — including the shingles vaccine and Tetanus-Diphtheria-Whooping Cough vaccine. More information on the Inflation Reduction Act and these changes is available at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/inflation-reduction-act-lowers-health-care-costs-millions-americans.

Since 2021, CMS has introduced a number of enhancements to Medicare.gov to optimize customer experience and create a more welcoming and user-friendly experience. Improvements include a redesigned Medicare.gov home page, the addition of pricing details to the Medigap policy comparison, streamlined landing and summary on the Medicare Plan Finder, and a redesigned “Talk to Someone” section to find additional help and contacts. All of these enhancements improve the overall experience, making it easier to navigate and access information to compare and select health and drug coverage and find providers.

The Medicare Open Enrollment period occurs every year from October 15 through December 7, with coverage changes taking effect January 1.

Things to Consider When Shopping for Medicare Coverage       

  • There are two main ways to get your Medicare coverage — Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage (Medicare-approved plans from private companies). There are differences between the two that are important to understand when choosing your coverage.
  • If you are selecting a Medicare Advantage plan, check with your health care providers to confirm they are in a plan’s network.
  • If you are selecting a Medicare prescription drug plan, check if your prescriptions are included on a plan’s formulary.
  • Remember that a low monthly premium may not always be the best overall value to meet your specific needs.
  • Review a plan’s estimated total costs to you, including deductible and other out-of-pocket costs.
  • If you take insulin, there is a new out-of-pocket cap on a month’s supply of each insulin product when covered by a prescription drug plan or under Original Medicare. Talk to someone for help comparing plans by calling 1-800-MEDICARE

Medicare is Here to Help

Here are four ways you can compare plans and look at savings options:

  1. Go to gov to learn the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, and do side-by-side comparisons of costs and coverage for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.
  1. Call 1-800-MEDICARE. Help is available 24 hours a day, including weekends.
  2. Access personalized health insurance counseling at no cost, available from State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Visit org or call 1-800-MEDICARE for each SHIP’s phone number. Many SHIPs also offer virtual counseling.
  3. Check eligibility for Medicare Savings Programs. If you have limited income and resources, you could qualify for Medicare Saving Programs run by your state Medicaid program. These programs could help save you money on health and prescription drug costs and/or could reduce your Part B premium from $165 to $0. For more information, contact your state Medicaid program or call 1-800-MEDICARE and ask about Medicare Savings Programs.

For more information, visit Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. Help is available 24 hours a day, including weekends.