Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7, Expert shares tips on choosing a plan

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 11:41 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - If you’re 65 or older you have until December 7 to enroll, change or drop your Medicare coverage.

Although you aren’t required to take action because your current plan generally would renew automatically, experts recommend you still check the plans as the right strategy could save you thousands.

President of Health Benefits Associates, Alex Sampson says you want to choose the plan that best covers your needs.

“People’s medical needs change every day,” he said. “They definitely need to have the doctors that they see and the drugs that they take, including the dosage and the frequency of the drugs. At a bare minimum, you want to make sure that the new plan that you accept takes those things. Some people like the additional benefits more, some people like the flexibility of seeing doctors out of state.”

There are two types of Medicare plans. One is the Original Medicare: It includes Part A plan, which covers your hospital and inpatient care, and a Part B plan which covers your doctor visits and outpatient care.

“Part B, the premium is actually going down for 2023, which is really rare,” said Sampson.

Original Medicare does not cover prescription medication, for that you’ll need a Part D plan which covers prescription costs.

“Most people just get A and B, and then add a supplement and a drug plan,” said Sampson.

A supplemental plan or Medigap covers gaps in your coverage.

The second option when it comes to Medicare plans is the Medicare Advantage plan or Part C, which is sold by private insurance companies. In Nevada, more than 210,000 people are on Part C, according to Affordable Health Insurance. Medicare Advantage is a combination of Part A and Part B and is likely to include prescription drug coverage.

“The Medicare Supplement rates do increase every year and so eventually I do have a lot of people that say ‘Look my Medicare Supplement is getting too expensive, I need to look at this Medicare Advantage plans that maybe have better benefits,” said Sampson.

With a lot to sort through, Sampson recommends making a list of priorities and going to see an independent insurance broker who can walk you through your options.

“There are a lot of new Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans in the area,” said Sampson. “This year, more doctors than we’ve ever seen before have switched medical groups so it is important now that if you want to maintain that doctor with a new medical group, you find a health plan that’s going to work with that group.”

Be aware that this enrollment period is not related to Medicare Supplement plans/Medigap, which have separate rules for enrolling.

According to Sampson there is a one-time option for those who miss the deadline and have serious problems with their current coverage.

Appointments with Health Benefits Associates are free and do not affect the price of your plan. It is recommended you make an appointment. For information on the offices in our area, go to:

You can compare Medicare health and drug plans at