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Medicare Annual Enrollment: What Disability Recipients Should Know

Osterhout Berger Disability Law > Blog  > Medicare Annual Enrollment: What Disability Recipients Should Know

Medicare Annual Enrollment: What Disability Recipients Should Know

Disability beneficiaries receiving Medicare should be asking the following questions right now:

  • Do I have proper prescription drug coverage?
  • Should I enroll in a Part C Medicare Advantage plan?
  • Am I on the best plan for me?
  • Can I save money?

This time of year, it’s hard to turn on the tv without being bombarded by insurance company commercials advertising their Medicare products. Each year, the Medicare annual enrollment period is between October 15th – December 7th. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries have the option to add, change or remove coverage. Many assume that the commercials are targeted to senior citizens but the insurance carriers also want to get the attention of individuals receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI).

SSA automatically enrolls SSDI recipients in Medicare after receiving benefits for two years, but typically, it is only Original Medicare, Part A (hospital coverage) and Part B (medical). The SSDI recipient has the option to enroll in a Part C (Medicare Advantage) plan or a Part D (stand-alone prescription drug) plan. Part C plans, which replace traditional Medicare, are offered by private insurance companies such as Humana, Aetna, AARP, and other carriers. These plans cover everything that traditional Medicare does and they usually have a very low and sometimes no monthly premium. Not only do they protect costs by limiting out of pocket expenses, but most of them include prescription drug coverage as well as dental, vision, and hearing coverage. A lot of times, Part C may be the best option for Medicare recipients under age 65, but not always. Sometimes the best option is to stay on Original Medicare (A&B) and add a Part D prescription drug plan. Once Medicare starts for SSDI recipients, they only have a limited initial enrollment period to elect Part C or Part D. If the deadline is missed, the recipient must wait until the annual enrollment period to enroll for the next year.

If you would like to see if there is a better plan for you that can reduce your cost, this is the time! After December 7th, beneficiaries may not be able to make these changes until the next annual enrollment period begins in October of 2020.

We can help you with this confusing process. We have a licensed insurance agent on staff who is prepared to help you understand your options at no cost. Complete the form below to have someone from our team call you for a no-charge consultation.

When we represent SSDI claimants before the Social Security Administration, part of our goal is to secure Medicare benefits in order to give them affordable medical coverage. There is no obligation for OBL clients to use our in-house agent; we simply want to help our clients and others get the best care possible.

Julie Phelps