Medicare Open Enrollment - November 2016

It's that time of year again...Medicare open enrollment is now through December 7th. This period is the one time each year that Medicare beneficiaries can review their health and prescription plan coverage and opt to make any changes for the coming year. If they are happy with their current coverage beneficiaries do not need to take any action and they will automatically remain with the same Medigap (supplemental policy) and Medicare part D (prescription) plans or Medicare part C Advantage Plan. If a beneficiary has received notice that their current provider is exiting the market or that their costs will change in the upcoming year this is the time to look at other options.

Staff at Senior Solutions and the Caring Workplace is available to help older adults and family caregivers ensure that they are fully informed. We want you to have the information needed to determine the best plan option that fits your family's needs for the upcoming year. Prescription plans vary drastically in terms of deductibles, copayments, coverage during the coverage gap, and monthly costs you will see at the pharmacy. We can help you determine not only an annual estimated cost, but also your monthly charges per prescription to help clients budget throughout the year. This is especially important for beneficiaries on a fixed income who may enter the coverage gap (donut hole) at some point throughout the year. For those in an Advantage plan who want to compare the cost of Original Medicare (or vice versa), this is a good time to do that as well.

Please keep in mind that while Medicare beneficiaries can only opt to change plans during Open Enrollment (unless special enrollment options apply due to life changing events), the drug plan formularies associated with Medicare part D plans can change throughout the course of the year. This means that the plan options that were the best for you or your loved one last year may not be the best option moving forward.

Medicare has a helpline available at 1-800-MEDICARE as well as a Medicare Plan Finder tool on their website at www.medicare.gov. Many simply do not have the time to research options on their own, or may find this information to be overwhelming, so please feel free to contact us at any time for assistance. If you are able to provide us with some basic information about you or your loved ones prescriptions, pharmacy choices, and current coverage we can help you obtain a personalized list of plan option for comparison. We can also help you compare Advantage Plans and Medigap policies if your health care needs may be changing or the current plan you are enrolled in is not effectively meeting your needs.

For additional support contact your Caring Workplace Eldercare Specialist, Heather Spindler at 314-802-5106 or via email at hspindler@standrews1.com