(NAPSI)—The last day of Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) is this Friday, December 7. eHealthMedicare outlines seven things all Medicare enrollees should know about their open enrollment choices.

1. Get motivated. This open enrollment period comes around only once per year. Whether you’re currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan or are looking to sign up for the first time, it’s important to compare your plan options by December 7th. Make sure your Medicare insurance coverage will still meet your needs for 2019.

2. Take control of change. Every year, insurers make changes to plan details. Your current plan may be changing your out-of-pocket costs, the doctors you can see, or your covered drugs. You have a once-a-year opportunity to take control of these changes by shopping your options to ensure you end up with the best plan for your needs.

3. Make sure your preferred doctors are covered. Check to make sure the doctors, clinics, pharmacies and hospitals you want to use are still covered under your current plan, as well as any new plan you may consider. You can find doctor network information when shopping online, but call your doctor to confirm his or her network status before enrolling.

4. Make sure your prescription drugs are covered. Will your current plan still cover the drugs you need next year? Online tools can help you see which plans include your drugs on their formulary at the lowest out-of-pocket cost. People using the drug coverage comparison tool at www.eHealthMedicare.com last year, for example, found an average of $611 per year in potential savings.

5. Compare services among plans. Online Medicare marketplaces offer easy-to-use comparison tools and plan recommendations. In an instant, you can compare plans side by side to review the price and benefits offered, including preferred pharmacies and mail-order prescription discounts, dental, vision, hearing and fitness benefits. Some plans offer benefits and perks that others do not, but little differences can make all the difference when it comes to your satisfaction with your coverage.

6. Get personal help when you need it, shop online when you don’t. Beyond online comparison tools and plan recommendations, full-service Medicare marketplaces offer you a phone number to talk with a licensed agent for more personalized help when you need it. Also look for a Better Business Bureau accreditation seal and check that the company running the website is officially approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

7. You’re not locked in to last-minute Medicare Advantage choices. If you choose a Medicare Advantage plan by December 7, and later realize a different plan would better fit your needs, you’ll have a chance to reconsider your selection early next year during the new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment period, which runs from January 1 through March 31, 2019.

clicktotweet Online tools can help you see which Medicare plans include your drugs at the lowest cost. People using the drug coverage comparison tool at www.eHealthMedicare.com last year found an average of $611 in potential savings. http://bit.ly/2SuizMe

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)