Medicare Open Enrollment: What You Need to Know

As with many of life’s major choices, timing is essential to securing the right Medicare coverage.

There’s an important upcoming window of opportunity to enroll in a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan. Between October 15 and December 7, those eligible for Medicare are given the chance to select a new plan during the Open Enrollment Period.

To help you prepare to make smart choices during that window of opportunity, let’s take a closer look at Medicare basics, the advantages supplemental plans offer mature adults specifically and how experienced team members can assist you with the coverage selection process.

Four Important Medicare Facts

As you may know, most individuals qualify for Medicare at age 65. Yet while many individuals may be familiar with the name, not all of us fully understand Medicare essentials.

Fact #1: Traditional Medicare is a basic health plan

For retirement-aged individuals, Medicare offers an attractive, affordable way to cover core health care needs. Original Medicare is a federal health insurance program designed exclusively for people 65 and older — as well as younger individuals with qualifying disabilities.

Each year, however, many senior participants are surprised to discover that they’re responsible for additional out-of-pocket expenses related to existing or new health care needs or issues. With proper planning — and the help of an experienced insurance agent well versed in what Medicare will and will not cover, one may prepare in advance to manage these extra costs.

Fact #2: Medicare Supplement Insurance (“Medigap”) Plans can help cover additional or unanticipated costs

Briefly, Medicare is divided into two primary parts (Part A and Part B), each covering different health care needs.

• Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) helps pay most fees for hospital stays, except Part A deductibles, coinsurance amounts and doctor services. Depending upon you or your spouse’s work history, you may either qualify for premium-free Part A or pay a premium determined by how long you (or your spouse) worked and contributed to Medicare taxes.

• Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) helps cover services from doctors, outpatient and home health care providers as well as durable medical equipment, and many protective services such as shots, vaccines and wellness checkups but NOT long-term care, vision or dental care, hearing aids, eyeglasses or private nursing. It typically pays up to 80 percent of your medical expenses after the annual deductible.1

Note: Medigap plans sold to people new to Medicare can no longer cover the Part B deductible.

Obviously, it’s critical to take action during the annual, end-of-year enrollment period. It’s also worthwhile to collaborate with a professional who can help you navigate the finer points of your coverage.

Fact #3: Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans may provide greater freedom

With some supplementary insurance plans, you may choose your own doctors and hospitals from anywhere in the U.S., provided they accept Medicare patients. Plus, should you need to see a specialist, you most likely would not need to secure a referral first.

Are you planning to travel stateside during your golden years? With the right plan, you may be covered at any hospital that accepts Medicare. So, whether visiting family and friends or simply checking travel destinations off your bucket list, you’ll feel confident that health care is accessible and affordable, should you need it.

Fact #4: Medicare Supplement Insurance may give you (and your loved ones) greater peace of mind

Let’s face it. Aging can bring up a lot of emotions for yourself and your loved ones. With Medicare Supplement Insurance in place that fits your budget and needs, you can minimize common concerns related to eldercare. Best of all, when your Medigap coverage is suitably integrated into your larger long-term financial plans, you’ll have a clearer picture of your fiscal future.

Not connected with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program. This is a solicitation of insurance. A licensed insurance agent/producer may contact you.

1Part B costs: How much does Part B cost?. (n.d.). Retrieved April 3, 2024, from

RBFCU Investments Group LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBFCU Services LLC. RBFCU Services LLC is affiliated with Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU).

Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans, or Medigap Insurance Plans, and Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by certain agents of Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union (RBFCU) through PTT Financial, LLC, and not through or in association with Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC is not affiliated with PTT Financial, LLC

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all your options.