We are just six days shy of the first official start of Medicare’s Annual Enrollment on Oct 15th when you can switch from your current health plan to another or enroll for the first time. Are you ready?
Here are answers to some of the most common questions people have about the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period:
1. Can’t I just renew my existing plan? The answer is yes and no. Of course you can renew your existing plan---- just don’t assume your coverage is still the same as when you enrolled last year. Keep in mind, healthcare costs can increase annually--so your premium can change in the upcoming year. Also, ensure your doctors are still in the network and don’t forget to check your prescription drug coverage. What may have been the right fit for 2018 may not be in 2019. Ask a Medicare Specialist to compare your health care needs to decide if your existing plan is still right for you.
2. Aren’t most Medicare health plans the same? The answer is a BIG NO! Medicare health plans are definitely not all the same. Of course, cost varies for premiums, out-of-pocket costs and prescriptions, but there are many other elements that make health care plans different. Pay attention to customer service. Ensure the plan you choose has a good reputation for how it treats and communicates with its members. Longevity plays a key role as well. You want a health plan that will be there for the long haul. Don’t miss out on the extras--- such as dental and vision coverage, and local resources such as free health education and social classes to help keep you living a life full of vitality. You want to get the most out of your Medicare health care plan.
3. Why should I talk to a Medicare Specialist? Making big decisions in anything you do usually requires assistance from an expert. Think about when you bought a house or constructed your Will, so why not your health? Medicare can be confusing and overwhelming, especially with so many plans to choose from and the complex language. Have a Medicare Specialist help answer your questions, explain the fine print and give you peace of mind in your decision.
Don’t forget to ask friends and family what they find to be important elements of their health care plan and for recommendations of health plans they love. This research done ahead of time will pay off big when you are ready to sight the dotted line.
People can meet with a Medicare Specialist at each of Inter Valley Health Plan’s Medicare Information and Vitality offices. For a list of offices, please visit: https://www.ivhp.com/CompanyFactSheet Inter Valley Health Plan hosts health education and social classes for Older Adults. For a full list of classes in your area, please visit https://www.ivhp.com/forhealthandliving.
Article From Inter Valley Health Plan