2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Is Underway – Don’t Miss Out!


Shah headshotKrupa Shah, MD, MPH
Assistant Professor
University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry

Medicare open enrollment only comes once a year. It is important that you mark your calendar and consider enrolling or reviewing your plans, especially if your needs have changed. Are you fully satisfied with your current medical care? If not, this is the right time to consider your options. Choosing the right healthcare providers, hospitals, and other care settings can make all the difference in your health and satisfaction with life. You can’t stand still, though.

Who is eligible for Medicare?

  • You are eligible if you are:

1) a US citizen 65 years old or older, or

2) a permanent resident of the US for five continuous years and 65 years old or older.

  • Individuals younger than 65 years old can be eligible for Medicare under certain circumstances; the Medicare Eligibility Calculator can help determine if your situation qualifies you for Medicare.

Open enrollment for Medicare runs from October 15th to December 7th.

  • Your demand for health care is constantly changing. It is important for you to review your coverage and see if you need to make any changes to your coverage for the upcoming year.
  • If you are happy with your current coverage, there is no need to do anything.

You have choices. Compare the different plans and pick one that fits your needs.

  • Use medicare.gov to find the right plan for you that is available in your area. The site has all relevant information – health and medication plan costs. You will be directed to enter the medications that you routinely take and compare plans that may lower your cost. You can also review the ratings of plans to compare quality.
  • Medicare Plan Finder – https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx

How does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affect people with Medicare?

  • Your Medicare coverage is protected. Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so rest assured that Medicare open enrollment has nothing to do with the Marketplace.
  • You will get more preventive services for less money – including free annual “wellness” visits.
  • You can save money on brand-name medications. When purchasing Medicare Part D brand-name medications, you will be eligible to receive up to a 55% discount at the counter.

Be proactive when it comes to YOUR health care coverage!

The content of this blog post was developed from Medicare’s official webpage, www.medicare.gov and http://www.planprescriber.com/medicare-eligibility/.