Making a list and checking it twice isn’t just for the holidays this year.

If you’re 65 or over or eligible for Medicare due to disability, developing a detailed list of what you have spent on your health care this past year – including hospital expenses and prescriptions – and what you need to have in your health plan next year, is an important step.

The 1.1 million Medicare eligible individuals in Wisconsin have until Tuesday, Dec. 7 to select their Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan coverage for 2022.

Whether you’re new to Medicare or are evaluating plan options for 2022, I encourage anyone who is eligible to take the time now to ensure you have adequate coverage, since the plan you select by the deadline is the plan you’ll have for all of next year, with few exceptions.

A new national poll from Humana found that when it comes to choosing a health plan, 69% of seniors indicated that their top concern is ensuring a plan has adequate coverage for all their healthcare needs. In addition, 67% of seniors said that having access to all of their healthcare providers will be key in choosing a plan and 64% stated that low, out-of-pocket costs will be a factor in choosing their plan.

Regardless of what’s most important to you, eligible beneficiaries in Dane County should be aware of available options and utilize trusted sources that can help you with this major decision before the Dec. 7 deadline. For example, the Medicare Plan Finder on can help you compare plans, benefits and get an estimated cost for each plan based on an average member.

If you are interested in Medicare Part D, which helps cover the cost of prescription medications, you can also enter the names of your prescription medications to ensure those medications are covered by the plan you are considering.

Licensed sales agents are also available for one-on-one meetings, whether in-person in the Dane County area or by phone or video chat, on behalf of an insurance company. These conversations will help ensure you have the right Medicare plan for you in place come Jan. 1 of next year

Medicare eligible individuals can visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Chuck Dow is the Humana regional president of Medicare for Wisconsin.

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