Medicare Advantage — Pitfalls to Avoid

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by Kate Ashford for the Beacon

[Ed. Note: We are currently in the thick of Medicare’s annual “open enrollment period,” which runs from October 15 to December 7 every year. That’s the period during which you can a) switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan, or vice versa, b) join, drop or switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan, and c) add, drop or change prescription drug coverage.

It is advisable to review your options every year, as various aspects of health and drug plans may change. This article is focused on those currently in or considering a Medicare Advantage plan.]

Only 3 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries who have a Medicare Advantage plan shop around during open enrollment, according to a 2022 analysis from KFF, a health policy nonprofit. And only 1 in 10 Medicare Advantage enrollees voluntarily switch plans.

A 2020 analysis of Medicare Advantage plan choices by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that more than half of beneficiaries overspent by more than $1,000 due to the plan they selected.

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Consult with SHIP, State Health Insurance Assistance Program, for all your Medicare related concerns.