Navigating medicare open enrollment

To join, change, or drop — the basics of Medicare.

Update by Tim Lonergan, CFP®, CPWA®, Senior Financial Planner

25 October 2022

The 2022 Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 – Dec. 7. During this period, you can join, change, or drop your Medicare health plan or prescription drug coverage.

Whether you’re enrolling in Medicare for the first time or re-evaluating an existing strategy, it’s important to understand the many decisions you’ll need to make about your coverage. A good starting point is our Medicare Information Basics guide, which summarizes the most important points to consider. You’ll also find information about Medigap, special enrollment periods, and more.

Get the Guide (PDF)

If you are newly eligible for Medicare coverage, you should know that Medicare coverage differs from private insurance in a few ways. For one, your Medicare coverage only covers you; plans for couples or families are not offered. Another key difference is how coverage is structured. Most private insurance plans are comprehensive, and typically included medical and prescription coverage (many employer-sponsored plans will include dental and vision coverage as well).

Unlike private insurance, Medicare coverage is divided into multiple parts:

  • Part A: covers hospital stays, medically related nursing home care, and other skilled nursing services.
  • Part B: covers doctor visits, medical equipment, outpatient procedures, mental health, ambulance, diagnostic tests, etc.
  • Part C: also known as a Medicare Advantage plan. Part C plans are private-version alternatives to Parts A, B, and typically D, and can cover copayments/coinsurance, hearing aids, dental, and vision expenses (depending on the plan).
  • Part D: covers prescription drugs.
  • Medicare Supplement Insurance: also known as Medigap. This helps ‘fill in the gaps’ of traditional Medicare by covering (in part or in full, depending on the plan) your out-of-pocket expenses related to coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles. Medigap generally does not include prescription drug coverage.

It is important to note that Parts A and B have out-of-pocket cost-sharing components. Please refer to our guide for more details.

The enrollment process can be quite complex depending on your situation. Westmount’s Planning Team is committed to helping you navigate through this process with ease.

Give us a call at 310-556-2502, email, or contact your Westmount advisor directly to get started.


This report was prepared by Westmount Partners, LLC (“Westmount”). Westmount is registered as an investment advisor with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The information contained in this report was prepared using sources that Westmount believes are reliable, but Westmount does not guarantee its accuracy. The information reflects subjective judgments, assumptions and Westmount’s opinion on the date made and may change without notice. Westmount undertakes no obligation to update this information. It is for information purposes only and should not be used or construed as investment, legal or tax advice, nor as an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. No part of this report may be copied in any form, by any means, or redistributed, published, circulated or commercially exploited in any manner without Westmount’s prior written consent.

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