What You Need to Know About Medicare Open Enrollment


by Alli Thomas

Oct 14, 2020

On October 15, Medicare’s annual open enrollment period will begin, running through December 7.

As always, it’s a good idea to review your current plan and decide if you should make any changes.


First, it’s possible that one or more of the doctors you see may no longer be covered under your plan.

Second, plan costs and drug reimbursements may change each year.


What’s new for Medicare in 2021?

There are two things that people on Medicare should be aware of for the coming year:

  1. A change in coverage of insulin in some plans – beginning in 2021, some (but not all) standalone Part D plans may cap monthly insulin copays at $35. Those plans that do cap insulin copays are called “enhanced plans.” They offer richer benefits, but those come at a higher monthly premium.
  2. Possible financial help may be available if you were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic


Which plan is best for me?

Regular Medicare is accepted by most physicians, but, it doesn’t include a prescription plan. To get prescription drug coverage, you’ll need to buy a Part D plan separately.

There is also the option of Medicare Advantage, which allows you to buy a plan that’s more like an employer-sponsored medical plan. These plans have provider networks and may also include prescription coverage.

You’ll pay a premium for both traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans for Part B (which covers physician services). For most people, that ran $144.60 per month this year. Rates for 2021 haven’t been published yet.

Regular Medicare participants pay 20% of the approved Medicare rate for most physician services after meeting the deductible. There may be additional premiums associated with Medicare Advantage for prescriptions and other services.

Whether you’re applying for Medicare for the first time or trying to figure out if you should reconsider your plan, our expert advisors are here to give you guidance that can help. Click here to schedule a free, no-obligation appointment with one of them.

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Alli Thomas

Alli Thomas has worked in the financial services industry for nearly 20 years, with a focus on retirement-related investing. She began her career as a FINRA-licensed participant-services call-center associate at Vanguard, and then moved to Principal Financial Group, where she worked closely with employers, assisting with retirement plan set-up and design, selecting appropriate plan investment offerings, and maximizing employee participation through targeted education campaigns and enrollment meetings. Alli has also worked as a qualified 401(k) administrator and registered investment advisor for several small investment firms. She now writes about all things investment- and finance-related, leveraging her extensive experience and passion for retirement planning to help investors make well-informed financial decisions.

One Response

  1. Avatar Theresa C. Astran says:

    Great! I had no idea that my Financial Planner could also assist me with deciding if my current medicare complete/govt health insurances are still a good fit for me. I will certainly habe a sit down with my FP asap. Thank you.