Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, which allows enrollees to choose their health and drug coverage for 2020, started on Oct. 15. All enrollment choices for next year must be made by Saturday, Dec. 7.
Some current Wisconsin beneficiaries will need to choose new prescription plans for 2020, as three Medicare Part D drug plans will be shutting down effective Dec. 31 Humana Enhanced, Silverscript Allure and Wellcare Extra. All beneficiaries impacted by these plan terminations were sent a mailing by their plan in late September or early October. If they fail to choose a new plan for 2020, they may risk having little or no drug coverage.
In total, 30 Part D prescriptions plans are available in Wisconsin for 2020, with premiums ranging from $13.10 to $124 per month. This total includes three 2019 Part D plans offered by Aetna Insurance which was bought out by another company, so the plans formally known by an Aetna name now are a Wellcare plan. Additionally five new Part D prescription plans are being offered next year, and two Part D plans are changing the name of their plan.
There is also one new Medicare Advantage plans being offered in Vernon County for 2020 from Gundersen/Quartz Health Insurance called Senior Preferred Core. This plan offers both health and prescription benefits for a $0 premium, along with extra benefits relating to vision care, hearing services and over-the-counter products.
There are 14 other Medicare Advantage plans available to Vernon County residents – 4 more from Gundersen Senior Preferred, 5 from Security Health Plan, 3 from United Healthcare, and 2 from Humana. There are also two choices for Medicare Savings Accounts, which are similar to a health savings account. Premiums for these plans range from $0 to $222 per month, in addition to the deduction of the usual Part B premium.
For assistance in reviewing options for 2020 drug and health coverage, contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Vernon County at 608-637-5201 or 1-888-637-1323 for an appointment.
Another resource for help understanding and comparing plan options include contacting Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 (available 24 hours/day) or on their website at www.medicare.gov. Additional resources include:
- Board on Aging and Long-Term Care Part D Helpline (ages 60-plus) at 855-677-2783
- Disability Rights Wisconsin Part D Helpline (ages 18-59) at 800-926-4862
- Board on Aging and Long-Term Care Medigap Helpline at 800-242-1060
All of the resources listed above also have information on assistance programs to help with Medicare costs, such as Part D plan costs and Part B premiums.