Welcome to 2022! I am so glad the new year is here. This question or similar one has been very common the last few weeks and into 2022. During the Annual Open Enrollment period everyone with Medicare can make a new choice for their coverage. This year a lot of people have changed their coverage. That means the insurance companies have a lot of work to do.

The plans have to generate a “Welcome to the Plan” letter, almost immediately and almost everyone got one of those. This letter is the most important item to receive. This letter has your ID information on it and can be used as an insurance card until you get the actual card. The plans then need to send out new cards, new plan information and eventually new bills for premiums. We are finding that many plans seem overwhelmed with the number of enrollees and are late getting out the details. We have had a number of individuals who have not received updates.

If you haven’t received your Welcome letter, we have advised calling the plan and getting this information over the phone. There are times when this can be a long difficult process. Being on hold, and working through the call chain can be frustrating. Take a deep breath, sit back and wait for them to answer the call. Once you get a represenative, you can talk through your concerns and get the information you require to access your prescription drug coverage.

Another way of getting your information is using the Medicare.gov website. This website has a login and password that allows you to access your personal data for many of your insurance products. If you have established that login and password you can access your current (and past) insurance coverage information. This allows you to research your coverage and also print out ID card data from your new Part D insurance plan. This has allowed us to help many clients access their information using the login and password they have established on the Medicare.gov website.

You can also use the insurance company’s website to access your data. This will require you going to the company website and establishing a login and password. Unfortunately most of these sites require you to have your member ID to begin the process. But the Medicare.gov website can get your insurance member ID, which then allows you to set up a direct link with the company to access your account data. You can also pay the premiums, and access their formulary (drugs they cover) and your claim history.

If you don’t use a computer or understand how to do any of these taska to get the help you need, please reach out to a family member or friend who is more computer savvy. Or you can reach out to an agency such as Office for the Aging, or Senior Life Matters can help you through this process. If you saw an insurance agent or broker to enroll in your coverage, reach out to them and they can help you get the information you need to access your coverage.

When addressing the issue of your bill, I would say be patient. The company has the month of January to issue the bill, and you have 30 days to pay. So take a deep breath and wait for the rest of your information and your bill to arrive. The important part is getting your card and being able to refill your medications. They will cover your medications even if you haven’t paid your premium yet. Once you get that bill, you can catch up the payments and even set up an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) if you wish.

Looking forward to all that 2022 will bring!