If you get insurance through either Medicare or the Affordable Care Act, it’s time to check your coverage and make adjustments ahead of 2020.

Medicare open enrollment runs through Dec. 7 (medicare.gov)

Affordable Care Act enrollment is Nov. 1 – Dec. 15 (healthcare.gov).

Coverage begins Jan. 1, 2020.


Open enrollment allows Medicare recipients the opportunity to change their Part D drug coverage or Medicare Advantage plans.

“I encourage all … seniors who have Medicare to take time during open enrollment to review their plans,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, director of the Missouri Department of Insurance. “Plans can change from year to year, and what you had last year may not be what best suits your needs this year.”

Director Lindley-Myers warns seniors, health care providers and others to be wary of unscrupulous sales tactics during the open enrollment period. Protecting your personal information is the best line of defense in the fight against health care fraud and abuse. “Never give your Medicare or Social Security numbers to strangers, especially those offering unverifiable free services,” said Lindley-Myers.

Verify that a salesperson is a licensed insurance agent by calling the Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-726-7390.

Be cautious of door-to-door sales people. Medicare has no sales representatives, and agents cannot solicit Part D or Medicare Advantage plans at your home without an appointment.

Avoid sales people who offer free lunches for listening to a sales presentation. Federal law prohibits offers of free meals in exchange for signing up for a plan or listening to a presentation on Medicare.

Do not give out personal information to an unlicensed agent. Sales people are not allowed to ask for a Social Security, bank account or credit card number during marketing activities.

Sales people cannot ask for online payments and must send a bill. Once you decide to buy a plan and have verified the agent is licensed, then you may give the agent personal enrollment and billing information.

Affordable Care Act

Open enrollment period for ACA is a time when people who don’t have insurance under the plan can join as well as a time for people who have coverage to update or make changes to their plan.

If you had Marketplace health insurance in 2019, you can simply renew your coverage, but authorities recommend that you still go online and:

Update your income and household information and look at other available policies to make sure you have the best match. New, affordable plans may be available this year. Plans and prices change every year. Your situation may have changed too. You may find 2020 plans with coverage and features that better meet your needs — especially if you have had or expect income or household changes.

If you currently have coverage under ACA, by Nov. 1, 2019, you should get two letters: one from your current insurance company and one from the Marketplace. Together they explain:

Your 2020 coverage status

Which plan (if any) you’ll be enrolled in or matched with if you don’t act by December 15, 2019

Any changes in your coverage and financial help

Directions if you need to send the Marketplace any documents

If you don’t get your insurance company letter by Nov. 1, contact your insurance company. If you don’t get the Marketplace letter, contact the Call Center.

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