Most People Don’t Review Their Medicare Coverage Options

US dollar bills with medicine pills

Did you know that during Medicare’s Open Enrollment, most older adults don’t review their plan changes for the new year, or look at other options for coverage? This leaves many surprised by changes they can’t afford. Yikes – Let’s change this trend!

Medicare’s Open Enrollment is Oct 15 through Dec 7,
and it is one of the few times people with Medicare can review their coverage and make a change. Also, most, if not all, Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans change their coverage every year, so even if you are happy with your current plan, you may not like it in 2022. Plan costs, provider networks, tiered drug structures, etc can vary a lot year to year.

For example, as quoted in a recent article, Medicare Patients Don’t Compare Plans, in 2022, “a common Aetna SilverScript plan in California is nearly doubling its annual deductible from $250 to $480. It also is changing the pricing structure from a flat fee to a percentage for commonly prescribed Tier 3 drugs, which includes several brands of generic statins such as rosuvastatin and ezetimibe….Instead of $104 for a 90-day supply of each of those two drugs, the plan will charge 17% of $925, or $157 for one, and 17% of $800-plus, or $136, for the other…Additionally, a brand of an inhaler that now costs $105 for a 90-day supply will cost 17% of nearly $1,900, or $324.” These are big price differences and can have a significant impact on whether someone can afford their medications.

With Medicare’s Open Enrollment upon us, make sure to review your coverage choices. Don’t get unpleasantly surprised in the new year. Learn about what to do and resources to help you review your coverage options at our webpage Medicare Open Enrollment – Annual Election Period. Also, contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) for free, individual and unbiased assistance to do just this. They’re available in every county across the state and are awesome at what they do!

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.