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With the 2020 period ending Dec. 7 and costs set to go up in 2021, many senior citizens find themselves in the crunch to make decisions about their Medicare enrollment. Local agent Misty Bolt and her team of professionals are sharing insights to help you make the best decisions possible and be sure all your bases are covered.

"Beneficiaries who pay extra for coverage because they have a higher income should know that those monthly surcharges are coming up for 2021," Bolt said, noting that the standard premium for Part B is now set where beneficiaries will be paying anywhere from $203 to $505 for that coverage.

The Annual Enrollment period for Medicare runs Oct. 1-Dec. 7, and Bolt strongly advises not waiting until the last minute.

"It will be here before you know it," she said.

There's also an insulin savings program that many may qualify for and not be aware of that carries great benefits. According to medicare.gov, starting January 1, 2021, you may be able to get Medicare drug coverage that offers broad access to many types of insulin for no more than $35 for a 30-day supply.

"You can get this savings on insulin if you join a Medicare drug plan or Medicare Advantage Plan with drug coverage that participates in the insulin savings model," Bolt said. "This model lets you choose among drug plans that offer insulin at a predictable and affordable cost."

She shared that clients can also filter and compare participating plans to help you find the plan that's right for them during the annual enrollment period through Dec. 7.

There are a few don'ts to keep in mind as you're making plans as well:

"One change you can make during this enrollment period is to go from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage coverage," Bolt pointed out, noting that it's important to look at this ahead of time before you begin.

For those looking specifically at Medicare Part D open enrollment period, it runs from Oct. 15-Dec. 7 every year, so there's still time to get on board. During this period, Bolt said clients can enroll in a part D plan, switch from one drug plan to another, or drop Medicare prescription drug coverage if the need calls for it.

If clients' needs are for something simply to supplement coverage, Medicare Supplements are available and there aren't any yearly open enrollment periods like for the other types of Medicare coverage.

"You can buy or change MedSup or Medigap policies any time you want," Bolt noted. "Most people do so during a six-month Medigap open enrollment period which starts the same month you enroll in Medicare Part B."

She added that if you wait until after your Medigap open enrollment period to buy or change this type of coverage, you may not be able to find an insurance company that will sell it to you.

"And even if you do, you might pay a lot more for it," she said, stressing again the importance of research and planning ahead. "If you miss the Medicare open enrollment period for 2021, you may still be able to make changes to your coverage through a special enrollment period."

She also shared that clients don't have to enroll in Medicare every year or renew your Medicare plan each year.

"This is true if you're enrolled in Original Medicare, as well as if you have Medicare Advantage, Medigap or Part D coverage," Bolt said.

With so many questions and options, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming.

"At MedicareMisty Agency, we get it: finding the right plan for your loved one is challenging," Bolt said. "Whether you're new to Medicare or exploring your options for the coming year, the choices you make now are important. Our knowledgeable agents can answer your questions and guide you through options that could save you money."

 

To learn more or get a free, no-obligation consultation with a licensed insurance agent today, contact Misty Bolt at 423-240-0794 or visit medicaremisty.com or follow her on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) (*Medicare Misty Advisors is not affiliated by, or endorsed by any government agency.)

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