Medicare: it can seem like a daunting, confusing process. But by asking Dan Katzeff a few basics of Medicare planning, he was able to clear some important issues up. Did you know that the 2013 Medicare Open Enrollment Period (or Annual Enrollment Period) for 2013  is open right now! So make sure you are equipped with all the information you need to make smart decisions about Medicare and your future.

1. What is the OEP?

It is the designated window of time each year that current beneficiaries are able to make changes to their Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage. While everyone has the same benefits available to them through Original Medicare (parts A and B), Medicare Advantage plans and prescription drug plans can vary (even by county).

2. When is it?

The Annual Enrollment Period takes place from October 15 and runs through December 7, 2012. Any changes you make to your Medicare plan during this period go into effect on January 1, 2013.

3. What changes can you make during the Open Enrollment Period?

Medicare beneficiaries can…..
• Switch from Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B) to a Medicare Advantage (Medicare Part C) plan.
• Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan back to Original Medicare.
• Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
– this includes changing from a plan without drug coverage to one that offers drug coverage
• Join a Medicare Part D perscription plan or;
o switch from one Part D plan to another one.
o Drop your Part D perscription drug cover completely.

4. Why is this time of year important?

Once the Medicare Open Enrollment Period closes on December 7, you can’t make any changes to your Medicare plan until the following year. There are Special Enrollment Periods that can be triggered by certain events in your life such as if you move or if you lose other insurance coverage. For most people on Medicare, the Open Enrollment Period is the only time you can make a change for the following year.

5. Do you have to make changes during the OEP?

You do not – If you are happy with your current Medicare plan then you can leave everything exactly as is. Because the Open Enrollment Period comes only once a year, this is a great time to evaluate your coverage and make sure that you have the best option for your needs – especially if you have had some medical changes.

For more information……

Dan Katzeff
Lee, Nolan & Koroghlian
Life, Disability and Long Term Care Insurance
Business and Retirement Strategies
150 Clove Road, Sixth Floor
Little Falls, NJ 07424
(973) 237-4337 – office
(917) 842-6361 – cell
(973) 237-0288 – fax