Medicare Open Enrollment is just around the corner

Medicare Open Enrollment is just around the corner, Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2022. What does this mean for Medicare beneficiaries? Open Enrollment is when you can enroll in or change your Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare beneficiaries are highly encouraged to review their current plan coverage and shop to see if a more cost-effective option is available. Each year plans can change the monthly premium, annual deductible, co-pays, co-insurance and list of medications they cover.

Beneficiaries should have received their current plan’s annual notice of change letter by Friday, Sept. 30. This letter will include information about your plan changes for next year. You should compare plans even if you are happy with your current choice.

Many things can impact how much you pay for your medication. Your choice of pharmacy can make a difference in the amount you pay for your medications. A preferred pharmacy will cost less than a standard pharmacy. If a pharmacy is out of the network, you would have to pay the total cost of the medication. Mail-order pharmacies may be another option to explore. The cost of generic medications generally costs less than brand-name medication, but not always. Plans can also place restrictions on medication, such as prior authorization, quantity limits and step therapy.

Medicare Part D plans for 2023 include monthly premiums ranging from $2.80 to $112.60 per month. The maximum Part D deductible for 2023 will increase to $505 annually. In 2023, the cost of insulin will be capped at a $35 per month co-pay. There will be improved cost coverage for adult vaccines. In 2023, Part B Medicare coverage will start the month after a person signs up for Medicare during the last three months of their initial Enrollment or general Enrollment.

In 2023, you will also see a reduction in your Part B premium for most people to $164.90, down from $170.10 in 2022. People with higher incomes may pay more for their Part B premium. There is also a reduction in the Part B deductible to $226 per year, down from $233 in 2022. Other Part A and Part B costs will increase, including the Part A deductible to $1,600 per benefit period. The skilled nursing co-pay will increase to $200 per day after the first 20 days.

Plan comparisons can be made on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov. You can also contact the Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK) program to explore your plan options. If you wish to make an appointment with a SHICK counselor, call the Meadowlark Extension District at 785-364-4125 to schedule a time to review your plan.

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