The 2020 Medicare open enrollment period officially began Oct. 15 and is scheduled to end Dec. 7.

Robin Thompson, information and assistance director with the Senior LinkAge Line®, wants people to remember that this is the time of year when people on Medicare should review their Medicare plan options for 2020. 

“Taking time now to do your research can save you money and help you to find coverage based on your situation and your healthcare needs," said Thompson.

The Senior LinkAge Line® receives calls every year from people who failed to review their plan changes for the coming year.

Since Medicare changes every year, the Senior LinkAge Line® recommends that each person review their options for the coming year and open and read every piece of mail received from Medicare, Social Security and their current plan.

Annual plan changes can include:

Medicare Part D:

• Premium

• List of medications covered by your plan (formulary)

• Medication restrictions such as adding prior authorization and quantity limits

• Cost-sharing: deductible, co-pays and coinsurance

• Pharmacy network

• Medicare Advantage and Cost Plans

For plans that include Part D the list will also apply

• Coverage area

• Premium

• Out-of-pocket maximum costs

• Cost-sharing: deductible, co-pays and co-insurance

• Provider network

• Covered-benefits and restrictions

The public is encouraged to use the new revamped Medicare Plan Finder tool at www.medicare.gov to compare your current plan with other plans available in 2020. This will help you plan for the coming year and give you confidence and peace of mind.

If you need Medicare help, contact the Senior LinkAge Line®, a free statewide service of the Minnesota Board on Aging and the Area Agencies on Aging.

The Senior LinkAge Line is Minnesota’s federally designated state health insurance assistance program (SHIP) and the place to call for non-biased Medicare counseling. Call 1-800-333-2433 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

- Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain