It’s almost time once again for the annual Open Enrollment Period (Oct. 15-Dec. 7) during which Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their Part D and Medicare Advantage coverage. They can use the OEP to enroll in a drug plan, or change how they get their Medicare benefits such as going from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare, or vice versa. Any changes your clients make related to the OEP take effect on January 1, 2018.
Here’s everything you need to have to get ready to counsel clients during this year’s OEP.
Cost information for 2018
- Our donut hole illustration shows what clients may pay if they enter the drug coverage gap in 2018.
- Discover what your clients will pay for Part D in our Part D cost-sharing chart.
- Download our fact sheet about Part D average premium and benchmarks in 2018.
- Understand the Part D late-enrollment penalty and how it’s calculated
- Learn about discounts in the Part D Coverage Gap (“donut hole”).
- Get an overview of coverage and costs in Medicare Advantage in the coming year.
- Find out the LIS/Extra Help regional benchmarks for 2018 (see page 2).
Counseling tools and checklists
- Our 2017/18 Guide to Mailings and Key Events lists every piece of mail your clients may receive from Medicare or Social Security, and what they need to do. This guide provides an expanded explanation of CMS’s Fall/Winter Guide to Mailings chart.
- Use the questions in Considering the Four C’s to guide your one-on-one counseling sessions.
- The Benefits Counselor’s Plan Enrollment Checklist and Worksheet can help you conduct comprehensive counseling sessions, capture key components, and collect critical client information in one place for future reference.
- Practice using Medicare’s Plan Finder using these test case scenarios.
Enrollment & disenrollment basics
- Learn when and how clients can enroll or disenroll in Medicare Advantage.
- Keep in mind the annual Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP).
- Read about Special Enrollment Periods for Part D and Medicare Advantage.
- Review our Medicare Advantage Marketing Rules tip sheet and the full Medicare Marketing Guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
- Check out the Marketing Do’s and Don’ts for agents/brokers from CMS.