On October 1, 2016, you will be able to review the 2017 plans, and on October 15, 2016 you can officially enroll into your 2017 plan. During AEP, you can review Medicare Advantage (part C) and Prescription Drug Plans (part D). During this period, it is important to compare your current plan for the 2017 year benefits. Your current plan should have sent out the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC), which informs you of any changes in benefits, copays, deductibles, formularies, and networks to name a few. A close examination of the changes and a thorough comparison to potential new plans can save you out-of-pocket dollars for medical bills and prescription drugs.
There are four main components to Medicare – part A, part B, part C, and part D. Each part has limits to its coverage. A review and knowledge of how the A-B-D-C Medicare parts work to benefit the beneficiary is essential. Within each part, there are key areas to focus on and the potential cost of each. Some key areas of focus are the cost of hospital stays, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, primary care doctors, specialist, outpatient care, home health care, durable medical equipment, and some preventive services.
“When comparing plans, it’s important to understand the plan’s network.”
The network includes contracted doctors, specialist, facilities, and hospitals. You must use the plans network for the carrier to pay the benefits. It may also include which pharmacies you must use to maximize your part D, prescription drug benefits.
Reviewing your Medicare plan during AEP can help you understand how your plan works, the benefits, the costs, and the networks you must use to maximize its use. Upon review, you may find your current plan is the correct plan for you and no change is required. You may also find the benefits have changed, and a new plan is offering better benefits at a lower cost, while maintaining your current doctors, hospitals, and pharmacies. Each year Medicare plans change. It’s in your interest to review those changes.
Working with an independent Licensed Agent, trained and certified in Medicare is a smart choice. They can show you the plan options available in your area and can help you understand how to maximize your Medicare benefits. They also can enroll you in the plan of your choice. The choice you make about your health is important. Medicare is your decision, maximize your benefits!
Contact an independent Licensed Agent who can make Medicare easy.
Senior Healthcare Consultant
Licensed Insurance Agent
Common Insurance Services Agency