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Medicare open enrollment starts Oct. 15. Do a checkup on your coverage

If you’re covered under Medicare, don’t let complacency prevent you from reviewing your health insurance options and maybe saving some money.

Open enrollment for Medicare begins Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7. It is during this period that those covered by Medicare — people 65 and older — can change their health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2020.

For many people, the Medicare open-enrollment process can be confusing with its alphabet plans. Part A is hospital insurance, Part B is medical insurance, Part C is Medicare Advantage (offered by private companies approved by Medicare such as an HMO) and Part D is prescription drug coverage. Even if you’ve been happy with your coverage, open enrollment is the time to double check what you have and make changes.

It’s a good deal for most older Americans, but Medicare is neither free nor easy.

You should have received your “Plan Annual Notice of Change,” which lists any changes in your plan, such as a possible increase in cost or coverage areas. It’s important that you review this document. The notice will compare the benefits in 2020 with those you’re currently receiving. Be sure to check your prescription drug plan to ensure that the medications you need will still be covered. If a drug you take is no longer covered, you may want to switch plans. If you didn’t get your notice, which should have been mailed last month, contact your plan.

In reviewing your plan, don’t just focus on prices. You should balance affordability with coverage, making sure your plan provides the health services you need.

Holly Hanes