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Medicare open enrollment period for people over 65

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Medicare open enrollment / PHOTO: Humana Healthcare
  • Medicare open enrollment for people over 65.
  • Tips for choosing a plan.
  • Information about benefits.

Eery year, the Medicare open enrollment period for those aged 65 and over starts on October 15.

This will last until December 7, so don’t miss on getting health coverage.

With the vast number of plans available, the process can be complex and confusing.

It’s especially difficult for those enrolling for the first time or looking to make adjustments to existing plans.

Tips for choosing the right plan

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PHOTO: Humana Healthcare

Humana Healthcare provides six important tips for choosing the right Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan.

It’s important to find a plan fits your budget and is available when you need it.

Consider your future health risks but, first and foremost, you should make sure your plan covers your current health needs.

It’s recommended that you consult with your doctor about potential future health risks that may require additional treatment.

Take advantage of the Medicare open enrollment period

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PHOTO: Humana Healthcare

It’s important to understand the prescription drug benefits.

Prescription drug coverage is included in many Medicare Advantage plans, unlike basic Medicare.

If you prefer basic Medicare, you can choose a stand-alone prescription drug plan through a private insurer.

When selecting your plans, have a list of your current medications ready for cost comparisons.

Doctors and hospitals

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PHOTO: Shutterstock

There are some things to consider when choosing your Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plan.

If you have a favorite doctor and a preferred hospital make sure they accept your plan.

This way, you can avoid additional expenses for out-of-network providers.

Also, make sure you understand if the plan requires referrals for specialized care.

Consider other benefits during the Medicare open enrollment period

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Think about additional benefits that could positively impact your health and well-being.

Medicare Advantage plans may include dental, vision and hearing coverage, as well as fitness programs.

They also cover transportation for medical visits and even subsidies to help beneficiaries pay for healthy food.

There are also some plans that offer rent and utility assistance.

Different plans have different costs

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Different plans have different costs, so make sure you understand the full picture when comparing plans in your area.

Check monthly premiums, deductibles and copayments for hospital stays and doctor visits.

Also, pay attention to annual maximum out-of-pocket expenses.

Once you reach the out-of-pocket limit, you won’t pay anything for covered services for the rest of the year.

CMS reviews all Medicare plans

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) review and rate all Medicare Advantage plans before each enrollment period.

This helps consumers make informed decisions. Plans are rated on a scale from one (poor performance) to five (excellent).

Your health insurance company should be your ally to help you access the care you need.

If you’re eligible for Medicare, take the time to research your options and choose the plan that best meets your personal health and financial needs.

Explore your coverage options

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Through the website, you can compare plans and benefits and get an estimated cost for each plan.

Visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, seven days a week (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048).

You can get information about Humana’s plans at or by calling 1-800-706-1368 (TTY: 711).

They are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, to speak with an authorized sales agent (Information provided by Humana Healthcare).

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