Tips to choose a Medicare plan during the Open Enrollment period

47 ABC – Time is ticking when it comes to Open Enrollment for Medicare.

With less than two weeks left, you have a big decision on your hands to figure out what plan works best for you. It’s a decision that comes with a lot of factors and picking the right plan could be difference between saving you or costing you hundreds of dollars.

If you don’t do anything, your current plan will renew for next year. If you decide to do this, you should be able to see next year’s projected costs. From there, you can figure out if want to stay or get another plan. Whatever you decide to do, looking at the four C’s of Medicare can help you maneuver through this process: cost, coverage, convenience, and customer service. Of the four C’s, we’re told cost and coverage are the most important.

Michelle Parker, MAC’s State Health Insurance Program Coordinator says, “We go to your Medicare account and list all the prescriptions at preferred pharmacy and that tool is designed to shop the best most affective, cost affective plan for you. The company that you choose is going to cover every prescription that you’re currently taking, it doesn’t make sense to get a plan that doesn’t cover something.”

When you’re plugging in your prescriptions for coverage, it could also be helpful to put in a preferred pharmacy. “Putting a pharmacy in and maybe even putting an additional pharmacy that you would use again might save some money in those areas such as preferred over standard,” Parker says.

But don’t forget about the other C’s. When deciding on coverage, think of the accessibility of your physicians and if they accept Medicare. As for customer service, think about the quality of care.

But besides looking at the four C’s, Parker says that many folks look long term, which could affect their decision making. “You’re living in the now, you need to make sure that what you have now is covered, you can shop this plan every year so the most worst thing is that you’ll be stuck with that plan for one year,” Parker tells us.

The Mac Center is offering free Medicare Open Enrollment events, featuring one-on-one counseling with the MD State Health Insurance Program. You should bring your Medicare card and all medications in their original containers.

Their next open enrollment event is December 4th from 1-3 at the Snow Hill Library. If you can’t make it, you can call 1-800-Medicare.

The last day of open enrollment is December 7th.

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