Annual Enrollment Period is just a few weeks away. For most of us, the endless TV ads, direct mail flyers, and other advertising is just overwhelming.

So why do you have to review your health coverage every year?

For many of you, the answer is, you really do NOT have to.

It depends on which type of coverage you currently have, and if you are satisfied with your current coverage.

  • If you are enrolled through Covered CA, or in an “Under 65 Individual” plan directly with Healthnet or Blue Shield, your health plan will automatically renew in November. You will receive notice from your health plan of any changes. And, once we know what the changes are, we will notify you as well.

  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare Supplement, your Medicare Supplement continues automatically as well. Supplement plans do not change year to year, and there are no rate increases at this time. Medicare Supplements are reviewed each year on your birthday, not at the calendar year.

  • If you are enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan, that plan will send you the Annual Notice of Change in late September or early October. The notice will show you your new plan premium, co-pays and pharmacy network. It will also tell you if your plan is ending, and which plan they will enroll you in if you do nothing. Again, if you do nothing, you will not lose coverage, but you may lose options.

  • If you are in an Advantage plan, or want to consider enrolling in one, this is the time to review those plan options. The dissatisfaction I hear from people enrolled in these plans usually concerns the lack of choice in doctors, the long waits for referrals, and the travel to out of town specialists or facilities. I doubt these conditions will change much for 2022, but we are reviewing each plan as we receive their marketing materials.

Finally, one last word about open enrollment. Many agents only work for the three months of Annual Enrollment Period. They travel into our market specifically to staff booths at drug stores, department stores, even healthcare offices. They get paid for every new enrollment they get. And in January, they leave. They turn off the phone line, and they leave you with no support to answer any coverage questions you might have.

We have been in the Coachella Valley for almost 30 years now, myself 12 years. We maintain an office in La Quinta year round. Once a year, we close up for our vacation, but I am always available by email or, in an emergency, by phone. I am writing this on the last few days of our vacation, and we are ready to get back to work for you. Our office will re-open later this week, and we will be taking appointments beginning September 7.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

This is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. Randy Foulds of Foulds Health Insurance Agency is an independent broker and Medicare specialist in La Quinta. license #0G69218. You can reach him at 760-346-6565.