November 29, 2021

Senior News Line: It’s time to review, renew Medicare

This is that time of year, again, when we need to make decisions about Medicare plans.

From Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, we are eligible to compare our coverage between the original Medicare, Advantage plans and the Part D drug plans in open enrollment. They change every year, and we need to know how those changes will impact us.

To compare plans, go online to Medicare.gov and click on Preview 2022 Health & Drug Plans. Click on the plans you’d like to see and enter your ZIP code. If you want to compare drug costs, enter that data as well.

Have pen and paper on hand and do the math. While it’s said that the average Advantage plan will come down $2, the average drug plan will go up that much. Beware the deductibles. If you have an Advantage plan and think you want to continue it, read the fine print.

If you’re used to having benefits for glasses, gym membership or other things, check to be sure you’ll still have those. Compare all of the plans to get what you need.

If you have a Part D drug plan and need insulin, be especially careful in selecting your plan. An additional 500 plans will include insulin this year, but again, read the fine print to be sure it’s what you need. A warning: Be sure your drugs are covered.

If you have questions you can call 1-800-MEDICARE, 24/7, to get help. You can also seek assistance at the State Health Insurance Program for your state (www.shiphelp.org).

If you are low income or have a disability, you might be eligible for the Medicare Savings Programs. They help pay for premiums and deductibles, as well as co-payments. Go online to cms.gov and search for Medicare Savings Programs. Click on one of the four categories for more information and income limits.

Matilda Charles

© 2021 King Features Synd., Inc.