Charles Jones did not interfere during open Medicare enrollment. He is busy comparing his current coverage to any changes that may be available next year.
A 69-year-old Pennsylvania resident who retired from December 2015 had three different Medicare Advantage plans from three different providers because he had moved several times since his retirement. Each move required him to change plans. In 2020, it will be on a different plane.
Jones will be in his fourth plan this time because of the medication he needs.
"In addition to checking their drugs, to make sure they are still covered, Medicare recipients should check that the drugs they are taking are not upgraded to a newer and more expensive layer," Jones wrote . "It happened to me in 201
Subscribe to the Must Read newsletter: Seductive stories you can't afford to miss
And this is happening again, Jones said.
"Now this replacement medicine is rising in price by 2020," he said.
It may be painful to review Medicare coverage, but if you do not take the time to review your prescription coverage, it could be a costly mistake if the medicines you are taking are no longer part of your current plan. Please do not assume that what works for you this year will best serve you next year.
Related video: Medicare enrollment season bears fierce competition among insurers for attracting baby boomers (provided by CNBC)
In addition to reviewing your prescription drug plan, Jones recommends make sure your doctors and hospitals are still part of your plan.
"I realized that my current plan had cut a local hospital as a provider, so needless to say I was exploring other plans," he said.
Jones says he does his homework every year. This year, he will spend about 40 or 50 hours a month comparing the benefits of the plan.
You will be wise to take his advice during open enrollment for Medicare, which runs through December 7.
Read: Medicare open enrollment begins October 15. Check your coverage.
Here are additional warnings from other readers about Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs.
– "One thing to be aware of when looking at Part D plans is that the same drug may be at different levels, depending on the specific plan."
– "This is the most the largest prescription of Part D. potential for broad retirees with high and often unexpected drug costs. All the Part D plans I reviewed will hit you hard if you are prescribed Level 3, 4, or 5 medicines on your behalf. "(Usually a lower-layer drug costs less than a higher-level drug)
-" We have been saying for a long time that my wife and I will save $ 720 in 2020 with prescriptions. People You Should Read ANOC (Annual Change Notice). "
Philip Moller – author of" Get what's yours for Medicare: Increase your coverage, minimize your costs "almost made a costly mistake a few years ago during open enrollment. He narrated his close skip to Sally Squires, a former Washington Post Health writer.
"He did not get a chance to check his Part D drug plan for medication until one day before Medicare's open season ended," she writes. "He discovered that the key drugs he needed were removed from his drug list."
Moeller tells Squires that it would cost him $ 20,000 a year to buy the drug himself. Fortunately, he was able to find another plan to cover the drug he needed.
To help you review your options, see the revised Medicare Plan Finder at medicare.gov.
Moeller, who writes a blog for PBS NewsHour, took the updated test drive tool before the open recording began.
Read: These tips can help you navigate the updated Medicare Online Tool
One thing that surprises new Medicare students is what doesn't cover, such as long-term care and most dental care.
Here's a good tip from one reader: "When you get your Medicare card, bring it to the office supplies store and put it laminated in plastic, and then a dog will hurry up as every doctor's office will handle it." and Xerox it. Don't leave home without it. "
Health care costs are no joke, so take the time to review your plan this year. You don't want to make a costly mistake because you delayed and did not check your coverage.
Subscribe and stay informed
If you view this publication online register to receive the Michelle Singletary newsletters automatically in your email box: "Your pensions "On Monday and Personal Finance on Thursday Read and share Michelle Singletary's Money Color Column on Wednesday and Sunday at The Washington Post. You can also see the column in your local newspaper. Follow Michelle Singletary on Twitter @SingletaryM and Facebook .