Open Enrollment Information Meetings

MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT  Information Meeting at Wesley Homes Thurs., Oct. 24th, 10:00 a.m. in The Gardens – Logan Hall Tues. Nov. 19th, 2:00 p.m. in The Terrace – Auditorium It’s that time again!  The Open Enrollment period for current Medicare beneficiaries starts Oct. 15, 2013 and runs through Dec. 7, 2013.  With a few exceptions, this is the only time during the year that individuals can change Medicare coverage.  If you have original Medicare coverage you may want to change to a Medicare Advantage Plan or vice versa. You will likely see many advertisements on television and in newspapers, and you will likely also receive direct mail advertisements of various policies. This includes Original Medicare and Medicare Supplements (Medigap policies),  Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Part D plans (Prescription Drug policies). If you are not satisfied with your current Medicare health insurance coverage, now is the time to consider making a change. HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD BE VERY CAUTIOUS when considering any changes in your medical insurance plans. Some things to consider: Review your current health care coverage; costs and benefits. Are you satisfied with your current care providers: e.g. doctors, hospitals, nursing facilities? Not all insurance works with all providers. Why are you dissatisfied with your current coverage? What are the premiums for your current plan compared to any plans you might consider? What are the out-of-pocket costs for your current plan compared to any plans your might consider?  (co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles vary greatly) There may or may not be an “out-of-pocket maximum” for a particular plan; if there is one, it usually does NOT include prescription drug costs. Is your current coverage part of a retirement plan package? If you dis-enroll from such a plan, you and/or your spouse may lose benefits that you can not regain If you are considering a change to a Medicare Advantage Plan, would you be limited to using specific providers? Which ones: doctors, hospitals, nursing facilities, etc.? Rita Lambert, Director of Social Services & Assisted Living If you are considering a change, ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS until you have enough information.  It is also a good idea to discuss any change with someone you trust; they might notice something you have missed. If you feel you need more advice, consider the specially trained SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) volunteers. SHIBA Helpline 1-800-562-6900