Annual Election Period for Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans: October 15 through December 7.
Medicare beneficiaries can enroll, switch plans or disenroll during the Annual Election Period, changes effective January 1. Because drug formularies (list of covered drugs) change every year, it’s wise to review next year’s plans.
There are dozens of PDP’s offered in California, and it can be a frustrating experience to visit each carrier’s website and enter your drug list time and time again. That’s where the invaluable Medicare.gov Planfinder tool comes in. To enter your drug list into the Planfinder visit https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare.
The resulting list will show which plans have the lowest expected annual out of pocket per your drug list, and other important information like the Medicare Star Rating. Medicare rates drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans from 1 star (worst) to 5 stars (best).
If you’d like personal help, I use a company called Ritter Insurance Marketing to help my clients figure out their Prescription Drug Plan options.
How to use the Ritter prescription drug review program
- Assemble your Rx list with the complete name, dosage, and frequency of each drug, and the name & location of up to two preferred pharmacies. Have on hand your Medicare ID number and Part A & B effective dates..
- Contact the Ritter call center at 1-800-908-7046, and give my agent referral code# 6005.
- Hours (Pacific Time): Monday-Thursday 5am-2:30pm. Friday 5am-1pm . (They are on eastern time.) If you get voicemail leave your name and number for a callback. When you connect with a live person, write down the Ritter agent’s name, date, and time of your call.
- If you already have entered your drug list in the Medicare Planfinder, give the Ritter agent your drug list ID, password date and zip code, as that will speed things up.
- You’ll receive recommendations based on a review of the costs associated with the plans. Be sure to ask for the plan’s star rating, and if it has a nationwide pharmacy network.
- If you are ready to enroll, in most cases Ritter can take your PDP application over the phone. If your current plan is the best fit, you won’t need to re-enroll. If they don’t represent the plan that is the best fit for you, they will tell you how to enroll directly with the plan.
- Later, Ritter will follow up with you to make sure you’ve received new ID cards and answer any questions, and will reach out to you for the next annual open enrollment October 15-December 7.
• Ritter pays me $5 for each person who calls and gives my referral code.
• Ritter will not market any other product to you. They only provide business-to-business services to brokers like myself.
• Ritter earns a commission on PDP sales. Your premium for any Prescription Drug Plan is the same, regardless if you purchase it directly from the carrier, via Ritter, or a licensed broker.