The 2021 Medicare & You Guidebook is available and you can download it here.
When downloading the digital version, it will open in your Acrobat document reader, or in your browser. A tip for finding what you want, instantly, is to hit the Control and F button at the same time on your keyboard. This will bring up the FIND feature in your reader.
Then, type in a word or phrase you are looking for. The reader should show you how many instances of that word or phrase exist in the entire book and you can click the down arrow to move from the first to the second, and so on.
This is how we zero in on things such as the Special Election Periods, Trial Right scenarios, Guarantee Issue Periods, and more.
The 2021 Medicare & You book is slightly less controversial than those in the past. CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) has been leaning more and more toward promoting Medicare Advantage plans and this bias has started to come through in their Medicare guide book.
In 2018, the non-profit Medicare Rights Center, in a joint letter with the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Justice in Aging, wrote a letter to the Administrator of CMS urging corrections in the proposed guidebook for 2019.
They stated, “First, in several places, the Handbook suggests that Medicare Advantage is the less expensive alternative for beneficiaries. This is an overstatement. There are many variables determining whether enrollment in a Medicare Advantage plan may be more or less expensive for any particular Medicare beneficiary…. The repeated suggestion that Medicare Advantage can save beneficiaries money does not fairly represent these realities.”
The letter went on to point out that various descriptions throughout the book give the false impression that the benefits of Original Medicare are the same as the benefits in Medicare Advantage.
When the guidebook was first read by many of our clients, they found it to be confusing, contradictory, and inaccurate to their experience with Medicare. This again points to the benefit of using an independent Medicare professional who can interpret the realities of Medicare and how it works in the real world. This only comes from experience.
We are here to help and our service is always free.