December 01, 2011 12:04 ET
Eight Do's and Don'ts for Medicare Open Enrollment, According to GoHealthInsurance
CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Dec 1, 2011) - As Medicare open enrollment ends soon, individuals eligible for Medicare have time left to compare their health insurance coverage for 2012.
Here are eight do's and don'ts for open enrollment:
1. Do make time to research your Medicare options. Avoid costly mistakes and determine if Medicare Advantage, Part D or original Medicare are right for you.
2. Don't assume your current policy or the cheapest plan is the best option. Your coverage may have increased in cost and decreased in benefits -- making open enrollment a good time to change your policy.
3. Do talk to a health insurance agent about the medications you take and your budget.
4. Don't assume you can get the same Medicare plan as your friend or spouse. Everyone has different health care needs and take different medications. Getting the same plan as your friend may not work for you.
5. Do compare benefits between health insurance companies. Health insurers offer different services like mail-order prescriptions, online access to your health records and gym memberships.
6. Do check to see if a plan covers your medications and preferred doctors. Some plans may seem more affordable at first, but if your prescriptions aren't covered and you have to pay more to see your preferred doctor then you'll rack up out-of-pocket costs quickly.
7. Don't automatically throw out information your health insurance company sends you. Your health insurer will send important changes about your plan. If you haven't received any updates, call your insurer to see if there are any changes in cost or benefits for 2012.
8. Do sign up, change or drop your Medicare Advantage and Part D plan during the open enrollment period. Medicare open enrollment ends early this year on December 7, 2011.