Friday, March 1, 2024
Health & Happiness

Save money by evaluating your Medicare plan during open enrollment

Now is the time to evaluate your Medicare coverage to fit your budget and needs.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA), the national voice for every person’s right to age well, is encouraging all individuals with Medicare to evaluate their coverage during this year’s Open Enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2022, for coverage effective in 2023.

Photo: Rodnae Productions/Pexels

The Annual Enrollment Period is too often a lost opportunity for people with Medicare. Research shows that only about 10% of individuals use this chance to switch plans. The result is they can end up overspending for coverage they don’t need or use.

“This year, the stakes are higher than ever,” said Josh Hodges, NCOA’s Chief Customer Officer.

“With inflation at a 40-year high and a recent U.S. Census report showing that poverty increased among Americans age 65 and older, it’s critical that people with Medicare use this time to make sure their plan meets their budget and their health care needs.”

There is good news for Medicare beneficiaries in 2023. The Biden Administration announced that the projected average premium for Medicare Advantage plans is $18 per month, a decline of nearly 8% from the 2022 average premium of $19.52. The average basic monthly premium for standard Part D coverage is projected to be $31.50, compared to $32.08 in 2022.2

The recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act also will put new limits on drug price increases, cap monthly out-of-pocket costs for insulin at $35, and make vaccines free with no copay.

“When assessing options, we recommend individuals look at cost, coverage, and convenience,” Hodges said.

“Every year, Medicare plans change, and so do people’s personal health situations. Medicare can be confusing, but NCOA offers trusted resources to help.”

  • Age Well Planner is an NCOA site that features Medicare basics and a cost estimator to help individuals select a plan to fit their budgets. Visitors also can connect with Medicare insurance brokers that have met NCOA’s Standards of Excellence.
  • BenefitsCheckUp® is an NCOA tool that helps people with Medicare determine if they may be eligible for the Medicare Savings Programs and Medicare Extra Help—two programs that help cover health care costs for people with low and moderate incomes.

Another trusted resource is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) network. There are SHIPs in every state, and they provide local, in-depth, and objective insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers.

For more information, please visit www.ncoa.org/Medicare.

About NCOA

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or ZIP code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more by following us at @NCOAging

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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