The Medicare Open Enrollment Period can be somewhat overwhelming. When there’s a ton of information coming at you, it’s easy to pick something that feels simple. But that can result in issues for your health care and everything that goes with it.
Choosing a Medicare plan should be a personal thing, which means it should cater to your specific needs. If you’re having second thoughts about the plan you’ve selected, just know it’s not too late to get a second opinion.
Debbie Stroup, with Michigan Medicare Specialist, said you have until Dec. 7 to make any changes.
“You can make 10 changes or 100 changes,” she said. “Whatever your last pick is at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 7, that’s where you are. If you’ve picked a plan and you’re like, ‘I don’t know if that’s still the right plan,’ give us a call.”
Stroup is trained by Medicare to help people searching for the right plan. She’s not affiliated with any insurance company, and it costs nothing to utilize her services.
“I am here for you, not the interest of the insurance company,” she said. “It never costs you anything.”
Why you might need a second opinion
If you fell prey to mailers or commercials and didn’t do your homework ahead of selecting your Medicare plan, you might want to consider a second opinion.
Stroup said there are some red flags that this might be the case.
“If you reached out to any call center,” she said. “Those are the commercials folks see on TV and feel compelled to call because of the lure of the extra benefits like dental or a grocery card.”
Another one is that you’ve just been doing an auto-renew every year without looking into it. So many things can change over time, so you might not be taking advantage of an offering that might suit your needs better.
“The absolute most important thing to ask yourself is: ‘Are all of my doctors and prescriptions in network?’” Stroup said. “Folks often see a commercial on TV talking about ‘minor’ extra benefits like gym membership, grocery money and dental coverage. Although those items can be important, nothing should be more important than your doctors and prescriptions.”
Getting help to select the appropriate plan
If you’re still not sure whether you’ve selected the best plan for you, Stroup will take a deeper dive into your needs, doctors and prescriptions to see how they compare to the plan you’re already in or have chosen.
“I’m happy to review,” she said. “If I feel that you are in the right plan, I’m going to tell you that. But if there’s something else that I think is going to be better for you, I’m going to tell you that, too. And we can compare them side by side. You make the final decision, not me. Don’t be afraid if you’ve already picked a plan and feel like you’re stuck with it.”
Stroup said not to worry about the open enrollment period.
“Shut out all those solicitors, the well-meaning family and friends and the pile of junk mail on your table,” she said. “Push it into the recycling bin, turn off the TV and give us a call. We are happy to help you go over that and make sure you’re in the right plan.”
Stroup said even if it’s past Dec. 7 and you realize you might need a second opinion, you’re never stuck.
“If it’s past that and you still think you’ve picked the wrong plan, give us a call,” she said. “There are some things we can do, and there are some upcoming dates where we can help you look at a different plan.”
If you would like to connect with Stroup to find out more about plans that might work best for you, call 248-227-0347 or email Stroup at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also schedule an appointment to discuss your Medicare options with Stroup for no charge by clicking or tapping here.