Open Enrollment and 2021 Changes

The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Season is here! On October 1, the www.medicare.gov website gets updated with all the 2021 plan information. Some exciting changes for our region include more plans than ever before available. There are 28 Stand Alone Drug plans. These plans are called PDP’s (Prescription Drug Plan). These are plans you would use with Original Medicare and a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan. Some of these PDP’s have changed names, like EnvisionRx has changed to Elixir. This means you will get a new card if you decide to stay in the plan. Other plans have left our region, like Magellan Rx Medicare Basic, Journey Rx Standard and Journey Rx Value. For individuals with these PDP’s you will get a letter informing you that your coverage is ending 12-31-2020 and that you need to make a new choice and enroll in a new PDP or alternative type of Medicare product.

There are also new plans and new companies this year. There is a new SilverScript SmartRx plan and three new BlueCross BlueShield plans. So instead of 27 PDP’s we have 28 available plans.

When thinking about Medicare Advantage Plans we have a LOT more choices. In 2020 we had 31 different Medicare Advantage Plans, in 2021 we have 46 plans in our region! That is a significant increase. The new plans come in different varieties, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and Preferred Provider Organization (PPO).

We have two new companies selling Medicare Advantage plans. Aetna Medicare and MVP Health Care are offering HMO and PPO plans, some come with drug coverage and some do not.

One of our local companies has added a new Medicare Advantage plan as well, BlueCross/BlueShield of Western New York is offering a new plan called BC/BS Freedom Nation. This is a PPO product with drug coverage offering an impressive National network at only $25 per month.

With all these new choices it will make for an exciting insurance seasons. But then I always think Medicare is exciting and new! Do some research, evaluate your current plan and decide if you making a change makes sense for you.

Remember if you have one of the three plans that are no longer offered in 2021 you must make a new decision between October 15 and December 7.

Senior Life Matters staff is here to help! Call us at 716-720-9797 or email at SLM@lutheran-jamestown.org.