Medicare Open Enrollment: What’s your back-up plan?

By: Jonathan Blum, CMS Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare

We all like to plan ahead – whether it’s planning for a road trip next summer or planning a big family get-together. Despite our best planning, uncertainty is a fact of life. We always need a back-up plan. What if the car breaks down?  What if it snows on the day of the get-together?

Nobody likes to think of back-up plans when it comes to our health, but health can be as unpredictable as the weather. It’s hard to know what you’ll feel like next week, much less what health care you’ll need next year. But that’s exactly what you need to think about when you’re shopping for health coverage during Medicare Open Enrollment – which ends on December 7.

Even when future needs can be hard to forecast, taking stock of your current situation can help. Review your prescription drug needs, and look for a plan that meets those needs. Plans may vary in what drugs they cover, and some may have special rules that you must follow before they cover a drug.

You may have other health insurance from a current or past job, or through a family member. If you do, you’ll want to understand exactly how that other coverage works with Medicare. You may decide to keep what you have now – and that’s ok.

It’s worth your time to take a look and compare coverage. Use the Medicare Plan Finder to look at all of the health and drug plan options in your area. If you still need help comparing, call 1‑800‑MEDICARE (1‑800‑633‑4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

While you can’t predict everything in life, you can do your best to be prepared. Medicare will be there, stronger than ever, to help.

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