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When is Medicare open enrollment 2022?

Open enrollment for Medicare is fast approaching when participants can choose what kind of plan they will want for 2022. Here’s when to sign up...

Open enrollment for Medicare is fast approaching when participants can choose what kind of plan they will want for 2022. Here’s when to sign up...

Those who are enrolled and new beneficiaries will soon need to make up their minds about what kind of plan they want for 2022. Enrollees can choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans and Part D prescription drug plans.

Fortunately, they will have more plans to choose from this time around if they choose to go with Medicare Advantage, the private plan alternative to traditional Medicare. More good news for those looking at Medicare plans, the average premium of Medicare Advantage is down in 2022. However, the average 2022 monthly premium for Part D coverage will be up slightly, as well deductibles are expected to increase.

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Open enrollment for Medicare plans in 2022

Medicare enrollees will have just over seven weeks to sign up for their 2022 plan. Those who want to stay on their current Medicare coverage do not need to re-enroll. However, the costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, so it is recommended to have a look at the coverage choices available each year. That way you can choose which options best meet your health needs.

Enrollment begins 15 October and runs through 7 December. You can find information and compare personalized options for health and drug coverage with the Medicare Plan Finder at Medicare.gov. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will update the Medicare Plan Finder 1 October 2021 with Medicare health and prescription drug plan information for 2022.

You can also call to get help 24 hours a day, seven days a week with which plan would be best for you at 1-800-MEDICARE. Information is available in both English and Spanish, in addition to language support in over 200 languages. For one-on-one assistance enrollees can contact their State Health Insurance Programs.

More Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage is a private plan alternative to Original Medicare. It provides additional health benefits to Part A and Part B under one plan. Those services can include eyewear, hearing aids and dental benefits, among other features. The number of people enrolling in the program is expected to rise by nearly 3 million to 29.5 million in 2022.

There are three major “Parts” of Medicare:

How is Medicare structured?

  • Part A: which covers hospital stays, skilled nursing, and hospice services;
  • Part B: which covers outpatient services, most doctors visits, and most drugs that need to be administered by medical professionals; and
  • Part D: which covers most “self-administered” prescriptions.

Some seniors elect to add additional coverage for things like vision and dental through a Part C or Medicare Advantage plan.

Since 2017 the average number of Medicare Advantage plans which enrollees can choose from has steadily risen. In 2021 there was a choice on average of 33 plans for beneficiaries, up from 19 four years ago. Additionally, in 2022 the number of plans offering special benefits for those who are chronically ill will increase from 19% to 25%.

The average monthly premium in 2022 for Medicare Advantage will decrease from $21.22 down to $19 per month according to CMS. On the other hand, in 2022 the average monthly Part D premiums will be $33 compared to $31.74 in 2021.