A Major Key to Managing Healthcare Costs in Retirement


A Major Key to Managing Healthcare Costs in Retirement

Posted by Infinite Wealth Advisors, LLC
2 years ago | October 3, 2022

For many retirees, healthcare becomes their largest expense. And that fact can come as an unpleasant surprise to retirees who expected Medicare to pay for most or everything that they need.

Because your out-of-pocket spending on medical care can make a major dent in your budget, the right Medicare plan can serve as a major key to managing your healthcare costs in retirement. But did you know that you aren’t stuck with the Medicare plan(s) that you chose when you turned 65? Each year, Medicare actually gives you a number of different opportunities to evaluate your healthcare plan(s), compare your spending with your budget, and make changes to potentially obtain lower medical bills.

Medicare’s Annual Election Period. From October 15 to December 7 each year, all Medicare enrollees can make changes to their plan(s). Read the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) that your plan administrator will send in the mail, or review it with an experienced insurance broker who specializes in Medicare. This notice tells you of upcoming changes to your current plan, so that you can decide if the plan is still right for you.

If you do nothing at this time, you will be automatically re-enrolled into the same plan or plans. But even if you’re happy with your current arrangements, it makes sense to review the options available to you. Something else might work even better for you, and lowering out-of-pocket medical spending is always a good thing.

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period. Those who have elected a Medicare Advantage plan have a second opportunity to evaluate and make changes to their plan. From January 1 to March 31 each year, you can drop Medicare Advantage and go back to Original Medicare, or switch from one Advantage plan to another. This can be a valuable opportunity if you realize after the Annual Election Period that your Advantage plan isn’t really the best fit for you.

Special Enrollment Periods. At any point during the year, certain life changes can make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, during which you can change your Medicare plan(s). If you move, enter a retirement home, are diagnosed with certain serious illnesses, or experience other major changes in your life, contact your insurance specialist to see if another plan might better suit your new situation.

As you can see, tweaking your Medicare plan is one of the ways in which you can manage your medical spending. But you must mark the enrollment periods on your calendar and stay in touch with your insurance specialist so that you can always match a healthcare plan to your needs and budget as well as possible.

And if you need any other help with your retirement plan or budget, schedule an appointment with us.

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