Published in the November 1-14, 2017 issue of Gilroy Life
Open enrollment is here. Your Gilroy postbox most likely has been bombarded with mail and other advertising for this time of year. You have a short window to make a change to your health plan for your Medicare coverage or Individual coverage. If you don’t know what to do, don’t worry, you’re not alone. There are agents out there, waiting to assist you. Whether your questions are basic or complicated, an agent can help put your mind at ease.
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. The Individual Open Enrollment Period is Nov. 1 through Jan. 3t. (To make a change for Jan. 1 in the Individual Market, changes must take place by Dec. 15. Both open enrollment periods give you a Jan. 1, 2018 effective date, unless you enroll after Dec. 15 for the Individual Market, then you could have a Feb 1, 2018 or March 1, 2018 effective date.
The Individual market has been changing every year since the Affordable Care Act, (AKA Obamacare) went into effect and this year is no different. Be sure not to miss the date to enroll or you’ll miss your opportunity for the entire year of 2018 and might be hit with a penalty on your taxes the following year.
There are daily changes happening at the federal level, which affects the Individual market, not Medicare. We have no news on how these changes will trickle down to the Individual market. At the time I’m writing this, all the previous rules are still in place, which means open enrollment time frames, penalties, etc., still exist.
If you’re on Medicare, this is an important time to review your Medicare Advantage plan and/or drug plan, to be sure it is still the best plan for you.
The Advantage and drug plans (Part D) change from year to year, some plans go away, new plans come. In California we have 25 Part D drug plans to choose from.
How do you choose what’s best for you? Are you thoroughly confused? It’s probably time for you to reach out to a professional and make an appointment. Evaluations are free and give you peace of mind.
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