Avoid Surprises by Making the Most of Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period

Written by Ashley D. Tucker, CFP® on October 31, 2023

If you or someone you know is enrolled in Medicare, then I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that Medicare’s Open Enrollment period is upon us due to the influx of Medicare mail received recently.

Annually, Medicare offers an Open Enrollment Period (October 15 – December 7) when participants can review and make changes to existing Medicare coverage before the start of the new plan year on January 1. The most significant change we see on an annual basis is changes to prescription formulary coverage. Plans can change from year to year, new plans become available, and prescription needs can change, so one of the most important things to do during open enrollment is to review the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC) materials received via mail to avoid surprises at the pharmacy come January 1, 2024.

What should you or a loved one consider during open enrollment?

  • Have medical needs changed? A different plan may provide a better solution.
  • Are there comparable, lower-cost plans available? Consider out-of-pocket costs and premiums when comparing options.
  • Are your medications still on the plan’s formulary? Are there quantity restrictions or prior authorizations needed?

To reevaluate the Medicare coverage options available, visit Medicare.gov to review the 2024 plan offerings, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to speak with a Medicare representative who can walk you through the options. If you are simply reviewing Part D prescription drug coverage, your pharmacist should be able to assist in the review of applicable coverage.

Otherwise, if you believe that your current plan will be sufficient in 2024 and your plan is still being offered, you do not need to take any additional action. Action is only required if you choose to make a change to your Medicare coverage.

A common misconception about Medicare is that it is a one-time event that coincides with turning 65. However, a set-it-and-forget-it mindset with Medicare can prove to be a costly mistake. We recommend that you review existing coverage to ensure the current plan(s) will continue to be sufficient in 2024. You have until December 7, 2023, to make changes to 2024 coverage.

We understand that Medicare can be overwhelming so know that Waverly Advisors can help you make sense of it all. If you have questions, ask an advisor to reach out to you to start the conversation and walk through the options available.


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