Yahoo Finance’s Kerry Hannon explains what Medicare beneficiaries need to know before enrolling in Medicare in 2023.
SEANA SMITH: Alright, it’s time to review your Medicare benefits. Beneficiaries have until December 7 to make decisions that can save money. Yahoo Finance’s Kerry Hannon now joins us with the details. And Kerry, tell us, what do we need to know?
KERRY HANNON: Oh yeah. It’s good news. On the one hand, I want to get started quickly with some great savings ahead for Medicare beneficiaries in 2023. Premiums and deductibles for Medicare Part B are coming down, which is great news. Vaccine co-shares are disappearing. And the insulin cap will come into effect from around $35 per month. So this is excellent news. So great savings to come.
But it’s open registration season. So that means you have until December 7, as you mentioned, to really take a look. If you have a Medicare Advantage program or a Part D prescription plan, now is the time to really look carefully. The fact is that 7 out of 10 people, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, actually don’t, but there are big savings to be made.
And here’s why. Every year, every year, changes are constantly occurring. You will receive a notice. You have already received it from your plan provider, which is called the annual notice of change. And it’s things like pharmacies you can go to, your franchises. All that stuff happens… minimal spending. All kinds of things change every year. And you can make big savings. I mean, even if your pharmacy is no longer in the network, you could end up saving thousands of dollars by simply moving to a pharmacy that is now part of your network.
But you might not even realize it if you don’t do your homework. So it’s really important to really pay attention to these changes because it’s… Medicare Advantage plans, there are a lot of great ones. But it’s important to really know what changes from year to year and where you can get the biggest hit.
DAVE BRIGGS: Indeed, and Kerry, Dave here. If people have questions about their options or how to sign up, what should they do? Where are they going?
KERRY HANNON: Oh, I’m so glad you asked that question. Interestingly, Medicare has one of the best ways to help you make these comparison purchases. They have something called the Plan Finder right on the website, medicare.gov. Check it out because that’s it. It’s not just if you go to your insurer. It basically gives you everything in your area. And it is very useful. They… also, you can just call Medicare. They are great at talking to you on the phone and helping you out.
Medicare Rights Center is also a great resource to help you hold your hand a bit and get some guidance. Believe me, this is a headache for many people. Very disturbing. But there is help out there. The other one that I really like is the state health insurance assistance programs. It’s called shiphealth.org. And if you go to shiphealth.org, there are free volunteers. It is a free service. Volunteers from across the country are there to really help guide you through this comparison shopping.
And it doesn’t have to be super hard. I mean, someone I was interviewing for this story said to me, hey, if you can buy on Amazon, you really can use the Medicare Plan Finder. It’s not that hard. So it’s definitely worth it.
DAVE BRIGGS: Even I can understand that. Kerry Hannon, good to see you. Thanks a lot. Enjoy the weekend.