Medicare annual enrollment for 2012 – wait for missing information

Last week I received the 2012 Medicare Handbook and a notice about the start of open enrollment to select a Medicare plan for the following year. Enrollment starts October 15th.

Having managed corporate annual open enrollment for nearly fifty years, I know there are two things that are critical to people making informed choices; the plan provisions and the price. No employer would think of starting an open enrollment without this information. Apparently, that is not obvious to the folks running Medicare.

Neither the premium for Part B of traditional Medicare nor the deductibles for Medicare are currently available, even on the website. Last year this information was not available until mid-November. The law requires that the Handbook be distributed two weeks before the start of the enrollment period regardless if the critical information is available. Did it ever occur to anyone to start enrollment when the critical information becomes available?

If you are considering various options for your Medicare coverage, you might want to wait until you have the missing information.

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