SeniorJournal.com - Daily News for Senior Citizens

  FRONT PAGE Aging • Health • Alzheimer's - Mental • Nutrition • Medicare & Medicaid Politics  • Fitness  • Social Security • Alerts • Sex Health • Features • Retirement  Elder Care  >Search  >Senior Links

[NavBar.htm]

Senior Journal: Today's News and Information for Senior Citizens & Baby Boomers

More Senior Citizen News and Information Than Any Other Source - SeniorJournal.com

• Go to more on Medicare or More Senior News on the Front Page

   

E-mail this page to a friend!

 

Medicare News

That Other Shopping Spree: Medicare Deadline Looms

Senior citizens have until Dec. 7 to choose a Medicare Advantage or new Medicare prescription drug plan - see video, story for helpful ideas

By Christian Torres, KHN Blog Capsules

E-mail this page to your senior friends!

Nov. 25, 2011 - Black Friday is nearly upon us, and along with holiday gift shopping, there’s plenty of Medicare shopping to do over Thanksgiving weekend. Seniors have only two weeks left to choose a new Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan, if they want to change from their current ones. Medicare’s open enrollment deadline was pushed up this year, from Dec. 31 to Dec. 7, as part of the 2010 federal health law.

The earlier deadline is meant to ensure that beneficiaries are properly enrolled and get their new membership cards by the start of the plan year Jan. 1.

Despite earlier concerns, advocates with AARP and the Medicare Rights Center said that awareness of the looming deadline seems to have picked up over the past month because of the many TV ads, mailers and events calling attention to it. Few callers to the groups’ helplines are asking about the deadline; talk is now almost entirely about picking a plan.

 

Related Archive Stories

 
 

Number of Medicare Part D Drugs Covered by Prescription Drug Plans Varies Widely

PDF/Medicare&You-2012.pdfBetter check your plan now - Patient cost sharing grows as increasing number of plans offer five-tier formularies

Nov. 17, 2011

Medicare Helps Seniors in Open Enrollment By Highlighting Five Star Plans

Period for changing Medicare plans open until Dec. 7; Affordable Care Act has saved seniors $1.2 billion on drugs this year - Nov. 7, 2011


 
 

Read the latest news
> Medicare

> Medicaid
> Senior Politics
>
Today's Headlines

 

Tony Salters, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said enrollment is “on track,” though he was unable to provide specific numbers. Call volume to 1-800-MEDICARE has grown consistently throughout November, Salters added, and reminder mailings were recently sent out to complement the more than 200 events that CMS has hosted.

However, many Medicare beneficiaries might still be unaware, according to a phone survey by GfK Roper for UnitedHealthcare, one of the largest plan providers. Among 500 seniors surveyed around the midpoint of the Medicare enrollment period in early November, only 32 percent correctly identified the Dec. 7 deadline, while 15 percent thought it was still Dec. 31.

Some Medicare beneficiaries have been known to wait until the last minute. Families are being encouraged to talk about Medicare over the long Thanksgiving weekend, rather than the Christmas holidays as in previous years.

Before you turn on the TV and watch football, sit down and discuss the “four Cs” - cost, coverage, convenience and customer service - said Nicole Duritz, an AARP vice president. People often forget about customer service, in particular. It’s important to evaluate the responsiveness of your Medicare provider, Duritz said, as well as to consider other providers and their ratings.

Medicare’s official website features a plan comparison tool, which includes the star ratings that CMS awards based on quality factors such as rates of hospital readmission.

Younger, computer-literate relatives can be especially helpful with the site during the Thanksgiving holiday: “It wouldn’t be a bad idea to cluster around a computer for an hour that day,” said MRC President Joe Baker.


One response below to “That Other Shopping Spree: Medicare Deadline Looms”

By Dennis Byron

This is a good idea but a little confusing. In what way is a Medicare Part C or Part D insurer rated on hospital readmissions?

The best bet is to look at Part D Drug Plans in your county based on the “annual retail cost estimate” ranking provided by medicare.gov after you plug in your drugs and your preferred drug store.

For many seniors however, they don’t like deductibles so they pick a higher annual cost plan to avoid having to pay the first $200-$300 worth of prescriptions for the year out of pocket. That’s OK too as long as they understand their options.

As for using medicare.gov’s rankings to understand Part C Medicare Advantage plan options, the compuerized Medicare plan finder is less useful because it does not do as good a job estimating total health and drug costs as it does estimating just drug costs.

The big thing to watch is the Part C plan’s network: Is your doctor in it? Is your closest hopital in it? And the worst case is that both doctor and hospital accept the plan but are not in the insurer’s “inner circle” (in the latter case, the provider accepts the insurance card but bills the senior for an extremely large co-pay)? Check any Plan C network in both directions.

>> Leave a Reply at Kaiser Health News’ Blog

Some of this information is reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives and sign up for email delivery. © Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

 

Financial Relief for Volkswagen Diesel Owners

You may be eligible for money damages if you owned or leased one of these VW, Porsche or Audi vehicles.

In the major scandal of 2015, Volkswagen cheated you and the world. They rigged diesel emission controls so you, nor regulators, would know how much pollution their cars were adding to our environment.

They were caught and have reserved $7.3 billion to help "make it right" with victims.

If you owned or leased one of these vehicles, contact us now.

 Beth Janicek, Board Certified Personal Injury Attorney Janicek Law attorneys are actively pursuing these cases against VW. Do Not Wait...

Janicek Law Firm, PC

Free Consultation

(Call toll free)

1-877-795-3425 or Email

Vehicles Involved

VW Jetta (2009–2015)

VW Jetta SportWagen (2009–2014)

VW Golf (2010-2015)

VW Golf SportWagen (2015)

VW Beetle (2012–2015)

VW Passat (2012-2015)

Audi A3 (2010-2015)

VW Touareg (2009–2016)

Porsche Cayenne (2015)

Audi A6, A7, A8, Q5 Quattro (2016)

 

Search for more about this topic on SeniorJournal.com

Google Web SeniorJournal.com

Keep up with the latest news for senior citizens, baby boomers

Click to More Senior News on the Front Page

Copyright: SeniorJournal.com

    

 

Published by New Tech Media - www.NewTechMedia.com

Other New Tech Media sites include CaroleSutherland.com, BethJanicek.com, SASeniors.com, DrugDanger.com, etc.