4 Questions About the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period You Need Answered Right Now

(BPT) - One of the most important times for healthcare coverage — and most dreaded — is upon us: the Medicare Annual Enrollment period. It started Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. A recent poll conducted for ClearMatch™ Medicare, a brand dedicated to helping “de-complexify” Medicare, found that:

  • 58% of Medicare members don’t look forward to reviewing their Medicare plan, and
  • 23% find reviewing their plan as delightful as having a colonoscopy! (There’s an advertisement for shopping if we ever heard one!)

For folks on Medicare, it can be a confusing time, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Here are four of the most asked questions (and answers!):

1. How do you get money back every month?

We’ve all seen the TV ads: the football players, former sit-com stars, folks who’ve sold grills or travel services. But, really, can you get $100 or even more added back to your Social Security check monthly? Answer: It’s a big “maybe.”

ClearMatch™ Medicare analyzed hundreds of thousands of Medicare Advantage members in 2020, and about 1% received $100 or more added back to their monthly checks. Approximately 24% did receive some money, though, and the average was about $43. This benefit, AKA the “give back,” AKA the “Premium Reduction” depends on your zip code. And it’s great to get money back, but choosing a Medicare Advantage plan based solely on the availability of the “give back” may mean you miss out on some other appealing benefits. Want to check your options? A ClearMatch™ Medicare insurance agent who’s knowledgeable about your region will check for you, no strings attached. Just the truth.

2. Why should you care about the Annual Enrollment Period?

If you’re not celebrating your 65th birthday this year, or already enrolled in Medicare, for most people, the “AEP” is the only time of year when you can change your plan. Since it’s not quite as fun as eating birthday cake, here are the reasons why you should even consider changing:

  • You’ve changed. Ask yourself some questions. Did your health change? Did you start a new prescription? Did you get a new doctor? Did your favorite doctor stop accepting your insurance? Did you move? Do you plan to travel more (or less) in 2022 than you did in 2021? If you answered yes to any one of these questions, there might be a Medicare Advantage plan that suits you better.
  • Plans change. Some plans have added benefits for next year (like more dental benefits, or telehealth, or others) and some have lowered their premiums. If you’re curious, you might want to check.

Want an honest, straightforward review? A ClearMatch™ Medicare agent will review your current plan, ask for and assess your current needs, and share your options. If your current plan meets your needs just fine, ClearMatch™ will say so.

3. How can I trust an agent will help me make the best decision for my healthcare?

The truth: A broker like ClearMatch™ receives commission from an insurance company when you enroll in a plan. That’s why they can provide you service at no charge. However, ClearMatch™ Medicare does not alter recommendations based on commission (it’s against their mission). And, since they get commission only if you stay in the plan they recommend, they only win if you’re happy.

4. Can’t I just work with my carrier directly and get it cheaper?

An easy answer. NO. Medicare insurance is not like hotels or airlines. The individual plans and their prices — by law — must be consistent across brokers and insurance companies. If ClearMatch™ offers a plan from an insurance company, it will be the same plan and pricing, regardless of how you enroll. From time to time, ClearMatch™ might not work with a particular insurance company, and they’ll tell you so. If you’re interested in that provider, they’ll even show you how to shop there. The benefit of dealing with ClearMatch™ Medicare is that their agents care, provide open and honest information, commit to listening to your needs, suggest a wide variety of solutions, and make sure you are satisfied.

To learn more about ClearMatch™ Medicare, call 833-522-1596 TTY: 711 Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., or visit ClearMatchMedicare.com, open 24-7.

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