Don’t “Set It and Forget It” This Annual Enrollment Season!
Does anyone remember Ron Popeil? If you don’t, allow me to rephrase the question. Does anyone remember the “set it and forget it” infomercial king?
I bet it’s ringing a bell now.
I, for one, can still see him in his green apron, armed with nothing but some well-seasoned meats and a fancy rotisserie cooker, taking the cheesy and overly scripted infomercial world by storm: “All you have to do is…” The unrealistically enthused audience chants, “SET IT AND FORGET IT!”
He was like the Billy Mays of the 70s, but with food instead of cleaning products.
But I digress…back to the topic at hand. The reason I retrieved this slogan from memory lane is to make a point: Many people have the “set it and forget it” mindset with their Medicare Health Insurance Plans. They think that once they undergo the process of enrolling in Medicare, enrolling in supplemental coverage or an Advantage plan, and signing up for a drug plan that they never have to change anything again. Happily ever after.
But this just isn’t true. Yes, most of the work is done. And you’ve definitely done the minimum to get by. But there’s a good chance your situation will change over time. And, even if your situation doesn’t change, there is a very good chance your health care plans will, oftentimes drastically. This leaves you in an ill-fitting plan that doesn’t meet your needs or your budget. You may need to switch!
When it comes to Medicare Annual Enrollment, there is a reason for the season. From October 15—December 7, you have the opportunity to make strategic changes to your health care plans.
Here are 3 reasons you might need to make changes this year!
1. The Medicare Supplement Creep
Medicare Supplements are typically consistent from year to year. The benefits are guaranteed to stay the same, and the premiums rarely increase drastically. But the premium cost almost always creeps up, dollar by dollar, slowly but surely.
If you stay on that ride for too long, you could end up paying $100+ more a month than you should. In fact, if you have been in the same Medicare Supplement Plan for 4-5 years, there’s a good chance you’re paying too much for it. Shopping around for a better deal this year could save you hundreds…and all without reducing your coverage.
REMINDER: You can change your Medicare Supplement any time of year, not just annual enrollment.
2. The Advantage Plan Leap
There are so many aspects of an Advantage Plan that can frog around over time. The deductible may go up. The premium may go down. You might have higher copays. Your coinsurance might drop. And beyond benefits and price, doctors and hospitals may go in and out of your plan’s network. A doctor available to you this year, may not be available the next.
This is why it is important to review your plan. Is your family doctor still within the plan’s network? Is it still the best value for you? If you simply set it, forget it and let it skate by another year, you’ll never know.
3. The Drug Plan Drop
A drug plan may vary in cost from year to year, but what you really need to check is the list of medications the policy covers, also known as the formulary.
Over the years, a drug plan may discontinue or reduce coverage on certain medications. Imagine if the drug it discontinued was your most expensive one, and you didn’t realize it. Yeah…it could be a financial disaster.
Review Your Plan This Year!
So make sure to take control of your health insurance options. Review your plans, and take careful note of all the changes. The “set it and forget it” philosophy might work well for cooking chickens, but it doesn’t work for this.
For your health insurance, I offer another slogan: If you set it and forget it, you might regret it.
Maybe that will catch on…
If you haven’t already downloaded our Annual Enrollment Checklist, there is no time like the present! Make sure you have completed it — and then you can forget it — until next year this time! Download it here: https://seniormark.com/annual-enrollment-period-checklist/.
Looking to review your plans with a Certified Senior Advisor? Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation.