A Test that Will Help You Get Smarter About Your Coverage
For youngsters, autumn means going back to school. For seniors and those who qualify, fall signals that it’s Medicare enrollment and renewal time. The Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Period is specially geared towards choosing Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans, and it lasts from October 15 to December 7. Healthcare and Medicare are extremely important issues for both your well-being and your wallet, so you want to get it right. Check your Medicare enrollment and renewal IQ by taking our quiz!
1. True or False? Those eligible for Medicare have to choose between either Original Medicare (Parts A & B, with Part D as an option) and a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C, with Part D as an option).
2. What can you do during the Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Period?
- Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan to Original Medicare
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another
- Join, switch, or drop a Part D: Medicare Prescription Drug Plan
- All of the Above
3. True or False? The Fall Open Enrollment Period is a time to enroll in Medicare if you have never enrolled in it before.
4. When will the changes that you make during the Fall Open Enrollment Period take effect?
- On your birthday
- At the end of the enrollment period
- January 1 of the New Year
5. Options for getting help with Medicare enrollment or renewal include:
- Calling 1-800-MEDICARE
- Using the Plan Finder on Medicare.gov
- Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP
- Online research
- All of the Above
6. True or False? The Medicare Open Enrollment Period and the Open Enrollment for the Health Insurance Marketplace are the same thing.
7. What are your options if you don’t like the Medicare Advantage Plan you joined during the Fall Open Enrollment Period? (Circle all that apply)
- You have to wait a year for the next Fall Open Enrollment Period to change it
- You can disenroll and enroll in Original Medicare during the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP) from January 1 to February 14
- You can change it on your birthday
- You can switch whenever you choose if you go through SHIP
8. True or False? Even if you are happy with your current Medicare plan, you should still explore your options and compare costs.
Resources: Information provided by Medicare.gov and MedicareInteractive.org
Answer 1: True. According to Medicare.gov, those eligible for Medicare have a choice between Original Medicare (healthcare coverage provided by the government) and a Medicare Advantage Plan (healthcare coverage provided by a third party); the Part D- Medicare Prescription Drug Plan is an option to supplement both choices.
Answer 2: E) All of the Above. The Fall Open Enrollment Period is a time to switch Medicare plans from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan or vice versa; and/or to add, change, or delete a Part D: Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
Answer 3: False. The Fall Open Enrollment Period is not a time to enroll in Medicare if you have never had it before. Generally, you can enroll in Medicare for the very first time either during an enrollment period that spans the three months prior to your 65th birthday, your birthday month, and the three months after your birthday; or during the General Enrollment Period (possibly with a late penalty) from January 1 to March 31.
Answer 4: D) January 1 of the New Year. According to MedicareInteractive.org, changes made during the Fall Open Enrollment Period take effect at the beginning of the following year.
Answer 5: E) All of the Above. There are many options for finding help and information about your Medicare choices either online, over the phone, or in person.
Answer 6: False. They are NOT the same things. Those who are eligible for Medicare should not use the Health Insurance Marketplace to find health insurance coverage.
Answer 7: Both A) and B). You cannot switch at any time. If you don’t like the Medicare Advantage Plan (provided by a third party) you have chosen, you can either enroll in Original Medicare during MADP or wait until the next Fall Open Enrollment Period to change to a different Medicare Advantage Plan.
Answer 8: True. When it comes to any kind of insurance, shopping around to compare coverage and prices is the best way to get the most coverage for your money. Even if you don’t plan to make a change, make sure you are utilizing resources like 1-800-MEDICARE, SHIP and medicare.gov’s Plan Finder to compare coverage and prices available to you.