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4 Things to Keep in Mind About Medicare Open Enrollment in October 2023

The annual Medicare open enrollment period begins in October, offering a chance for adults 65 and older to enroll in or adjust their federal medical insurance options for the coming year. During last year’s enrollment period, some 16.3 million took advantage of the offerings, and even more will do it this year, as the Baby Boomer population continues to age.

If you or someone you love is making Medicare decisions, you probably have a lot of questions. In addition to deciding between Medicare Parts A and B, you likely have even more concern about Parts C and D. A recent study by HSABank found that a majority of respondents found Medicare enrollment confusing. And a Commonwealth Fund survey found that 96% of respondents said they wouldn’t switch their plans if they found the options too confusing.

But you don’t have to be worried or confused! Here are four things you should remember as you navigate the open enrollment period.

1. Take Marketing With a Grain of Salt

You will no doubt see a lot of celebrities hocking Medicare Advantage plans (which come from private insurers vs. the federal government and account for about half of all Medicare plans) over the next few weeks. Do your own due diligence on what’s being pitched instead of trusting William Shatner to pick a plan for you.

The truth is, many viewers are duped into thinking the government is behind these plans, which it isn’t—and new rules limit usage of Medicare cards and logos so that people won’t get confused. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently began this crackdown on unfair marketing practices that could decrease the number of misleading or false promises related to Medicare Advantage advertising.

The Commonwealth Fund survey found that a high percentage of respondents reported seeing fraudulent claims in Medicare marketing messages or being contacted by unscrupulous brokers. So research claims yourself instead of believing what you see.

2. Don’t Overbuy on Insurance

According to HSABank, the average American pays $2,000 too much for their health insurance. The lesson? Don’t get more than you need. This can also lead to people not revisiting their Medicare choice from the year before because they think they still need the same amount of coverage.

3. Be Wary of Scams

Unfortunately, many scams attempt to prey on people who are older. Don’t agree to something that seems to be too good to be true without getting proof of what’s being promised. Also, don’t sign up for free offers to Medicare recipients that often turn out to be something else.

4. Get Help Navigating the Medicare System

If you aren’t sure what plan is best for you, asking someone with Medicare expertise is the best way to go. That way, you avoid guessing games and benefit from proven guidance.

Jay can help you with any Medicare-related questions, including what plan is best for your unique needs. Contact him during open enrollment!


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