AARP Offers Tips, Guidance
on Choosing Plans During Medicare Open Enrollment
Changes can be made to Medicare plans from October 15 through December
7; Distinction between
Medicare and Affordable Care Act open enrollment is important
Oct. 10, 2013 – AARP is offering senior citizens
tips on choosing the right plan during the Medicare Open Enrollment
period, which opens October 15. The organization is also cautioning
those in Medicare to not be confused by the open enrollment for the
Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – senior citizens still get their health
insurance at Medicare.gov.
Medicare Open Enrollment, people have the important opportunity to
evaluate their current coverage and make changes they see fit based on
changes in lifestyle, health status or personal preference, according to
Changes that can be made include adding, dropping
or changing prescription drug coverage or health care plans for 2014.
“Your health and prescription drug needs may change
from year to year or the plan you have may make changes,” said Nicole
Duritz, AARP Vice President, Health Education and Outreach. “That’s why
regardless of whether you have original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage
plan, it’s important to evaluate your choices during open enrollment.”
Information on Medicare Open Enrollment is
available online through the Medicare Plan Finder at
www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan or by calling Medicare at 1-800 -
When reviewing available plans, AARP recommends
considering each of the following:
Tip from Consumer Reports
I am in Medicare, what do I do about Obamacare?
You don’t have to do anything or buy anything extra.
Medicare Part A and Advantage plans fully qualify as insurance
under the new law. And nothing significant about Medicare is
changing in 2014. Benefits and programs will work the same as
they do now. But there is one situation in which the new health
care law might help: You are a new enrollee and your spouse
isn’t on Medicare yet.
Once the older spouse enrolls in Medicare, the younger, often
nonworking spouse, may suddenly be without insurance. The spouse
often has a hard time buying an individual policy because of
the younger spouse can buy a plan on the marketplace and not
worry about getting turned down or charged extra on the basis of
a pre-existing condition.
Note: If you’re the younger spouse, you’ll need to put down your
joint income when applying for marketplace coverage, even though
you’re the only one doing the buying. Your subsidy, if any, will
be based on that number.
Cost - not just the monthly premium, but the annual
deductible and co-pays and co-insurance
Coverage - the doctors and pharmacies included in the
plan and the prescription drugs and other services you need
Convenience – the accessibility of doctors, pharmacies
and services and how they match your lifestyle
Customer Service – the quality of service a plan
provides. Quality ratings are available for most Medicare Advantage and
Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, so take a look.
AARP is also reminding people with Medicare that
they don’t need to look in the
Health Insurance Marketplace for coverage. They should continue to
Medicare.gov to find out about options for Medicare coverage.
“We know there are scammers out there,” says Duritz.
“So we’re spreading the word to make sure Medicare beneficiaries know
where to get accurate information.”
AARP reports it is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a
membership of more than 37 million.
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