Medicare Open Enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15th to December 7th.

During the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, people can change their Medicare Advantage plan or their Part D plan. Their new plan begins on January 1, 2017.

There are some important changes to Advantage plans in Tucson for 2017 that might cause people to change their plan.

Plan changes:

  • Currently, only one Medicare Advantage plan includes Banner-University Medical Center in their network. But as of 2017, two other plans will also be contracted with Banner-UMC.
  • One Advantage plan in Tucson currently has a $210 deductible in its drug coverage and that will go away in 2017.

Gym Membership Change:

One plan is changing its free gym membership from Silver Sneakers to Silver & Fit – and that could be a game changer (plan changer) for some folks.

The Silver Sneakers gym network includes the Tucson Racquet Club and the Jewish Community Center (JCC) while Silver & Fit does not. I have clients whose choice of a Medicare Advantage plan is based on being able to go to these two facilities for no charge.

I already received a call from a client who said he wants a plan that will allow him to use the JCC at no cost because he’s currently spending $500 for his membership there.

****Sorry, I can’t name names lest someone think I am promoting certain plans.  Call or email me to get the details.****


Medicare Open Enrollment Period also applies to Part D plans.

People who have a Medicare supplement also pay for a “stand-alone” Part D plan.

Most Part D plans are raising their premium in 2017.  One company is actually lowering its premium!

Most Part D plans will have a $400 deductible in 2017.  That’s up from $360 in 2016.

Many people are in the wrong Part D plan and are paying too much.  That’s because they enrolled in a plan several years ago and never noticed the premium kept going up and up.

The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is the time to look at your Part D plan and  your Medicare Advantage plan.

Make sure your drug coverage has not changed substantially.  And look at the premium!

Medicare requires Medicare Advantage plans and Part D plans to send you an Annual Notice of Change each year at this time.  So look over that material.

I tell my clients that their Medicare supplement is a “get it and forget it plan”.  But Medicare Advantage and Part D should be reviewed during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period every year.


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