It's Medicare Open Enrollment time. What's new in 2019?

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Medicare Open EnrollmentMedicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7. This is a time for individuals on Medicare to re-evaluate drug and health insurance coverage options to ensure they are still enrolled in the best plan to meet their needs.

During this time

  • Anyone with Medicare Parts A & B can switch to a Part C plan.
  • Anyone with Medicare Part C can switch back to Parts A & B.
  • Anyone who has or is signing up for Medicare Parts A or B can join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan.
  • Anyone with Medicare Part C can switch to a new Part C plan.

Changes for 2019

With the implantation of the 2018 Balanced Budget Act (BBA), a number of changes are occurring with Medicare this year. To stay informed, individuals should review each notice that arrives from their insurance company, as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

One of the most immediate changes impacts the Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plan notification policies. Plans will no longer mail copies of the Evidence of Coverage to beneficiaries. Instead, the Evidence of Coverage will be available online or a hard copy may be requested.

National Council on Aging has prepared fact sheets and resources that provide additional help:

Part D cost information

  • Part D costs in 2019 are outlined in this fact sheet, including what higher income individuals will pay under Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (IRMAA) rules.
  • National Council on Aging Part D 2019 standard plan cost-sharing chart shows what people pay during the initial coverage period, coverage gap, and catastrophic benefits period.
  • The donut hole illustration specifically shows what happens when someone falls into the Part D coverage gap.

Need more help?

The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) will host Medicare Check-Up Day events throughout the state to help consumers compare and select the best plan that meets their unique needs. Click here for a calendar of Check-Up Day events. 

Can't make an event in person? Join OSHIIP for a 2018 Medicare Open Enrollment webinar.  Click on a date to register:

Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) Hotline: 1-800-686-1578

Information from National Council on Aging and Ohio Department of Insurance