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What To Do If You Haven’t Heard From Your New Plan

Question: The annual open enrollment period is over and I still haven’t heard from my new plan, what do I do?

Answer: Today is almost the end of Open Enrollment (December 7), and most of you have made your 2022 Insurance Plan decision. You have changed your insurance choices for the New Year (2022) and now need your information from the new plan.

If you decided to change your insurance plan you will receive correspondence, usually within 10 business days, a confirmation letter of your enrollment. This confirmation has your Prescription Drug Coverage ID information on the top of the letter. This letter can be used as an insurance card, while you wait for the real one to arrive. But remember your new coverage does not begin until January 1, 2022.

If you haven’t heard from them by January 1st, I would suggest reviewing the documents that you have from that enrollment process to find the contact information for the new company. Call them to explain that you enrolled in one of their products and have not heard from them yet. Your enrollment documents included a confirmation number. That confirmation number is what they use to track down the enrollment. The delay may be a typo or misinformation on the application which can be corrected later.

You may need your Medicare card so that they can search their system for your records. Hopefully this phone call will solve your dilemma. If they have you in the system they can give you, your ID #’s over the phone, and you can give those numbers to your pharmacy/doctor’s office.

In the situation where the company does not find you in the records, or you can’t get through to them, I would recommend contacting 1-800-medicare or www.medicare.gov. If you did your enrollment through one of these sources (on-line or with Medicare customer service) they will be able to trace the enrollment and give you the information you are looking for. But I do want to caution you about calling so soon, please give them time to get you the information first.

If you went to an individual, the insurance company’s website or their offices, my recommendation would be to track down the enrollment using that same source. It is helpful if you know the date and time you were helped and what your interpretation of what happened. Sometimes people ‘think’ they enrolled in a plan when they really just got information about it.

If you kept your same insurance coverage and did not make any changes, you may not need a new card, so continue to use the insurance cards you used in 2021.

If you don’t have enrollment records then you can still use the 1-800-medicare or www.medicare.gov tools. The website allows you to create a login and password that will track your coverage history and new plan enrollment. This login and password on this website will give you the information you need to track down your enrollment information.

It may be that your chosen product is pretty overwhelmed and having a hard time responding to the demand for their product. Every year some plans have higher than expected enrollment. That means this company or companies are swamped with enrollments and have to get out millions of packets to millions of enrollees. Overall this Medicare Open Enrollment process flows pretty smoothly. Millions of individuals with Medicare evaluate, and then choose to switch their insurance coverage to an alternate plan. MOST of these individuals navigate this process smoothly. If you are one of the individuals who are having a hard time, you did the correct thing in reaching out for help.

Once you get your new information and new insurance cards, be sure to inform your providers and your pharmacy.

For those of you who haven’t made your insurance choice, you must do so by the December 7th midnight deadline. After that you must have a Special Enrollment Period available to you to make a change to your insurance.

Senior Life Matters is a community based program sponsored by Lutheran Jamestown. For questions, concerns or to reach Janell Sluga, GCMC, call us at 716-720-9797 or e-mail at SLM@lutheran-jamestown.org.

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