Changes made on Medicare coverage during Open Enrollment takes effect on January 1, 2021. After December 7th, no other changes to Medicare coverage can be made for 2021.

Below, we explain why reviewing and making changes to your adult’s medical and prescription plans can assist them to save money and enhance next year’s coverage. We also share how to know the plan changes to focus on during the Medicare open enrollment 2021.

Why do Seniors Require to Make Changes to their Medicare plans?

Medicare Advantage planIt is worth noting that Medicare health and drug plans can change every year. Aspects that change include costs and coverage. That may imply that the plan that covered everything your older adult required this year might not have the same coverage next year. That is particularly true for Part D prescription drug plans.

When the plans change, it could result in significant growth in next year’s healthcare costs. However, changing to a different plan could get the coverage of your older adult needs without increasing the premium amounts or out-of-pocket costs. Moreover, there is always the chance that a lower premium plan could provide the coverage they require.

The Annual Notice of Change letter Highlights Crucial Changes

To find out what is changing in your older adult’s current Medicare plans, it would help to look for the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letter. The ANOC is a helpful summary that explains any changes in coverage, costs, or service area that will be effective in January 2021. Notably, Medicare plans disburse their ANOC letters in early October, while Medicare Advantage plans typically send theirs in September.

Four Important Areas of Medicare Coverage


 Is the plan premium continually increasing? If the increase is noteworthy, there might be a plan that provides similar coverage at a lower price.

Deductibles and Copays

 What are the current deductibles and copays? Will these values be increasing every year?

Prescription drug Coverage

 Without a doubt, Medication that is not covered is expensive. Paying special attention to prescription drug plans could save huge amounts of money.

Part C / Medicare Advantage / Managed Care

 If your older adult has a Medicare Advantage plan, it would be best to call their current doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other providers to ensure that they will still be in the plan’s provider network in 2019.

You could also contact the Medicare office and ask a representative to search for plan options and mail you the results. The process may take extra time. Therefore, call ASAP if you want to use this method.

Ways to Get Help With Medicare Open Enrollment

Sometimes, comparing Medicare plan options can be overwhelming. Get additional help and information from these reputable sources.

Contact Your Local SHIP Office

Medicare coverage during Open Enrollment Receiving expert advice can save hours of your time. The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) give free, thorough, one-on-one insurance counseling and help.

A counselor who understands Medicare and Medicaid can guide you through smart options for your older adult’s personal situation. You can trust them since SHIPs are government programs funded by the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Contact your local Area Agency on Aging

Call the local Area Agency on Aging and ask if they have programs that help with Medicare Open Enrollment.

Use Medicare’s online Plan Finder

Medicare has a plan finder and comparison tool that is readily available online. Answer a few questions and the tool will show available plan options for 2021.

Call Medicare

You could also contact the Medicare office and ask a representative to run a search for plan options and mail you the results. That takes extra time, therefore, call ASAP if you want to use this method.

References and Resources 

Increase of insurance premium rates

Comparing Medicare plan options