- Get Smart About Medicare Open Enrollment – Diane Omdahl Retirement Wisdom 25:43
Retire Smarter. Don’t Miss an Episode.
You can tell by the barrage of commercials that it’s Medicare Open Enrollment season. The author of Medicare for You: A Smart Person’s Guide,Diane Omdahl of 65 Incorporated, is back to help us sort through the noise, learn what’s new this year and how to avoid the common mistakes she sees people make in Medicare Open Enrollment.
Diane Omdahl joins us from Wisconsin.
On Misconceptions of Medicare Open Enrollment
“I think the biggest misconception people have is that Open Enrollment also applies to the Medigap policies, the supplemental insurance. We hear from people who aren’t happy with their Medicare supplement plan and they think they can change it during open enrollment. We’ve heard from people who didn’t get a Medicare supplement or Medigap policy when first eligible, and they think now they can add it like if they would with a drug plan. However, Open Enrollment doesn’t apply to Medigap policies. If you want to change your Medigap policy, you can apply at any time during the year, and medical underwriting may apply. If you are trying to change from Medicare Advantage to a Medicare supplement Medigap policy, there’s only two times you can drop that Advantage plan and one of them is coming up. So we say shop for your Medicare supplement first, get your guaranteed acceptance in hand and then dis-enroll from the Advantage plan during Open Enrollment and you’ll be good to go January 1.”
On Common Mistakes with Medicare Open Enrollment
“I think waiting until the last minute, then they can’t get through or something gets messed up. The mistake I already mentioned: assuming that you don’t have to do anything if you love your plan. That happens. I did a client last year. I did his wife early this year, and she says, I’m not supposed to tell you this, Diane, my husband didn’t take any drugs. He was in the cheapest plan that he could be in, but then he didn’t open his Annual Notice. And come to find out, I think this was two years ago, the plan he was in was discontinued and he was enrolled automatically and that went from $10 to $69. It’s a mistake – not opening your Annual Notice of Changes as far as Open Enrollment goes.”
On What to Do with Medicare Open Enrollment
“Don’t pay attention to the commercials. Look at your Annual Notice of Changes and then do your homework. So my words to people, and again, I’ve been accused of being biased against Advantage, and as I said, I’m not a biased against that. I’m biased against people not shopping carefully. You’re going to go buy a new car. You spend 14 hours testing and reviewing literature. What do you do with Medicare Advantage? You go with what a friend says works, or you talk to an agent or you go with a commercial. Come on people! Do your homework. I’m an educator. That’s what I try to have people do. ”
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Joe Casey is an executive coach who also helps people design their next life after their primary career and create their version of The Multipurpose Retirement.™ He created his own next chapter after a twenty-six-year career at Merrill Lynch, where he was Senior Vice President and Head of HR for Global Markets & Investment Banking. Today, in addition to his work with clients, Joe hosts The Retirement Wisdom Podcast, which thanks to his guests and loyal listeners, ranks in the top 1 % globally in popularity by Listen Notes. Business Insider has recognized him as one of 23 innovative coaches who are making a difference. He’s the author of Win the Retirement Game: How to Outsmart the 9 Forces Trying to Steal Your Joy.
The views and opinions expressed by guests on The Retirement Wisdom Podcast are those of the guests and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the host, or of Retirement Wisdom, LLC. The Retirement Wisdom Podcast covers the non-financial aspects of Retirement. From time to time we may invite guests who discuss other aspects of Retirement planning, solely for educational purposes, not advice. Listeners are advised to consult qualified financial and/or medical professionals on those matters.