This year seniors can expect more choices, more benefits, and lower overall healthcare costs!
It’s a fact: people with Medicare can get a host of preventive tests and screenings —more than ever before — at absolutely no cost to you. Medicare also continues to cover an Annual Wellness Visit – a great chance to talk with your doctor or other health provider about treating small problems and concerns before they become big ones.
Between now and December 7, you can expect to hear about the choices, benefits, and lower overall costs you have when it comes to Medicare – many of them thanks to the new health care reform law. Open Enrollment is your chance to review your health care coverage and see if you need to make any changes, or if you are happy sticking with the plan you have. Over the next few months, look around – in these 4 everyday places you’ll find a wealth of information about your Medicare benefits.
1. Your mailbox
Look through your mail carefully — you may get important notices from your current plan, Medicare, or Social Security about changes to your coverage or any extra help you may get paying for prescription drugs. Also look for your Medicare & You handbook. Like an old friend, it shows up around the same time every year. This year, it may be in your email inbox instead – if you decide to “go green” and asked to get it electronically. You’ll also start to see brochures from companies that offer Medicare health and drug plans. Just remember, be smart about protecting your personal information and your identity — plans aren’t allowed to call or come to your home without an invitation from you.
2. On your computer
It’s important to compare your plan choices–and our Medicare Plan Finder makes it quite simple. You can watch a video about how the Plan Finder works at www.medicare.gov . Enter the drugs you take to find out how you can lower your costs, review a the plan’s star ratings to compare plans based on quality, and join a plan right online if you find one that meets your needs.
3. In newspaper, newsletters, and magazines
Take a moment to read the Medicare information that’s out there. You may find a local event — somewhere right around the corner with counselors to help you, like your State Health Insurance Assistance Program or a senior center. Don’t miss the chance to get personalized help if you need it.
4. On television and radio
You may see some advertisements or programming about Medicare plans and your new choices. You might also hear some advertisements on your way to or from work as you listen to the radio. Now is the time to enjoy the choice and control you have over your health care coverage. Just like fall,
Medicare Open Enrollment only comes once a year.
Dr. Jaime Torres
Region II Director
US Department of Health and Human Services