The fall Annual Election Period (also know as Medicare open enrollment) is upon us. We have started discussing 2022 plans as of October 1st. We can start taking applications October 15th for the 2022 plan year. December 7 is the closing date of the AEP.
Ignore the Medicare-related TV Advertising the best you can.
Many of you have contacted us saying, “I heard on the TV that……”
Let’s take a quick look at the psychology of advertising. Most advertising is designed to create anxiety, apprehension and discontent. It’s purposely choreographed to upset your equilibrium and peace of mind. Please keep in mind that this is all done very subtly, and that’s the cleverness and deceptiveness of advertising.
Another element of advertising is to create fear. Misguided Medicare advantage advertising creates fear that you might be missing out on something really important. The bottom line is that the advertising by design is manipulative.
A more sinister aspect of advertising, especially television advertising, is to bombard your senses to the point where your ability to differentiate between truth and fiction is broken down. Your senses are dulled. The trickery is to push your feelings button rather than your intellect button. Please refer to our companion article, Scams, Scams, and More Scams.
Now the viewers’ defenses are worn down to the point where they are begging for relief from the anxiety caused by the TV ad. They end up being snookered after they’ve called the 800 number on the screen. They are no match for a slick-talking commission chaser in a boiler room.
If you do have questions after viewing a Medicare advantage TV ad, please call us first! In a future issue of Northwest Senior News, we’ll discuss some of the self-inflicted disasters people have caused for themselves as a result in dealing with the boiler-room sharks.
If you are happy with your plan and it’s working well for you, there is no need to change. Lastly, there are no pots of gold sitting at the end of the rainbow!
The types of changes you can make during the fall AEP
- Medicare advantage plan = MA
- Prescription Drug plan = PDP
- Medical Savings Account = MSA
For those where a change is appropriate, the following list are changes you can make.
- You can change from one PDP to another PDP.
- You can add a new PDP if you never had one but need one now.
- You can change from one MA plan to another MA plan. Most plans include prescription drugs but not all.
- You can drop your Medicare supplement plan and switch to a MA if one is available in your county of residence.
- You can drop your MA plan, go back to original Medicare and add a Medicare supplement plan. Medical underwriting applies in most situations.
- You can drop your Medicare supplement or current MA plan and switch to the MSA plan, which is a type of MA plan.
Changing from one Medicare supplement plan to another
First, it’s important to note that you can change your Medicare supplement plan any month of the year. This change is not restricted to the fall October 15 through December 7 AEP, however, you must medically quality with the new company you are applying to. We usually seek a change in a quest for lower rates.
Part D Prescription Plan (PDP) News
We’re seeing mostly modest premium increases, although there are a couple of exceptions.
There’s a big shake-up with what we’ll call Company W. Company W bought three plans from Company A beginning the 2020 plan year. Medicare allowed Company W to run six PDPs for 2020-2021.
Starting in 2022, Company W is reducing their six plans down to three. If you currently have one of these plans, the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) that you should have received in late September will inform you which of Company W’s three 2022 plans you will be moved to. They have Plan Low Premium, Plan High Premium, and Plan Xtra for those on Extra Help. Be sure to read you ANOC mailer to determine which of Company W’s three plans you will be moved to.
If it’s Plan Low, you likely will have a somewhat lower premium compared to 2021. If it’s Plan High, you will be shocked at how much higher your new premium will be. Call us, and we’ll shop a new plan on your behalf for 2022.
Lastly, we will be contacting as many of you with “Company W” as possible to determine the right plan for you for the 2022 year.
A terrific way to submit a list of your prescriptions to us is to use our PDPHelper.com website.
Ways to contact us
Phone: 208-746-6283 or 888-746-6285
Website: nwseniorinsurance.com Please click on the “Contact Us” tab.
PDPHelper.com: Submit a list of your prescriptions to us with this website.
As stated above, we strongly encourage you to use our PDPHelper.com website as a way of submitting of list of your current prescriptions to us. We thank you for your patronage and wish you the best for the upcoming 2022 season. End.