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Act now to change your Medicare plan

Senior News

Have you finished making your decisions about your Medicare plan for 2021? If you’re going to make a change, you have only a short time to pick a new one. The deadline is Dec. 7.

There are so many options: Medicare Advantage, a supplemental plan or the traditional Medicare. And there are many things to consider within those options — the drugs we currently take, eye exams, hearing aids, annual preventive tests and more.

The place to start is with your current plan. By now you should have received your Medicare Annual Notice of Change Letter if you have an Advantage or Part D plan. (You won’t get one for a Supplemental plan.) The letter will itemize any changes to your 2021 plan, including price. Compare your current plan with any changes in your plan for next year.

Have your needs changed this year? Are there new drugs you’re taking? Is your doctor included in your network? What about the pharmacy you like to use? Are you likely to need a procedure in 2021? What else are you likely to need in the next year?

Look at your Medicare & You 2021 book that came in the mail. Check inside the front cover for information on lowering insulin costs, acupuncture for back pain, telehealth visits and more. (If you can’t find your copy, go online to www.medicare. gov/Pubs/pdf/10050-Medicare and-You.pdf.)

If you want to consider making a change, go online to Medicare.gov and look at plans for your area. For any changes to a supplemental plan, call that plan directly.

Don’t try to do this all in one day. Give yourself time to consider what you need, and ask questions.

Get personalized help at State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) at www.shiptacenter.org if you need it. Click on SHIP Locator for listings by state, or call them at 877-839-2675.

(c) 2020 King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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