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Medicare annual enrollment

By Carin R. Kirkegaard

The health insurance industry is arguably one of the biggest in the U.S., and Medicare falls under that umbrella. Throughout the next few months, the evening news and mailboxes will be inundated with commercials and flyers from private insurance companies touting the benefits for a particular supplemental Medicare plan in anticipation of Medicare annual enrollment for 2022.

Annual enrollment for Medicare choices runs October 15 through December 7. This window of time is the only opportunity a person already enrolled in Medicare can add, drop or switch options to their current Medicare coverage until the next year’s annual enrollment period.

In Colorado, there are 26 Medicare supplemental prescription drug plans, 36 Medicare Advantage Plans and hundreds of Medicare Supplement plans available to individuals age 65 and older. With each plan offering different benefits with different doctors at different facilities with varying price points, it can be a lot to navigate for anyone.

When making choices about which plan is best for an individual’s situation, it is important to confirm that a client’s doctors and prescriptions are both offered with a particular plan.

“You’re going to pay for your health – even on Medicare, said Betsy Mullison, a longtime resident in the Hidden Pointe subdivision of the City of Castle Pines and an independent licensed Medicare broker.

Similar to regular insurance plans, there are Medicare plans that offer high deductibles with low premiums and co-pay plans where an individual pays as they go. At no cost to the client, a broker’s compensation comes through the insurance companies they are working with. Having a Medicare licensed broker can help determine which plan is appropriate for each situation.

“Healthcare is baffling,” said Village at Castle Pines resident Steven Westberg. When he turned 65, he went to a Medicare informational meeting at the Douglas County Libraries — Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock to better understand how the system works. After working through his individual circumstances, Westberg said, “No plan is perfect, but I made an informed choice that I’m comfortable with because of working with a broker.”

For more information about Medicare annual enrollment and eligibility requirements, visit



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