Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Medicare Enrollment

Good morning everyone. If you have visited our website you will know that we have a Medicare enrollment seminar coming up this Saturday, October 11. Why is this an important seminar to attend? Why should you be concerned about Medicare enrollment?

October 1 of this year was the start of the Medicare enrollment period. Every year there are changes in insurance options and Medicare is no exception. I have spoken with several older adults about the seminar and I'm seeing a distressing trend of people saying, "This is too confusing for me. I'm just going to stay with what I've got because I don't understand the options."

I certainly understand the confusion as Medicare and our country's insurance system in general can make one's head spin.  It is important, however, that you look at your insurance plan and ensure that you have the type of coverage that will allow you access to the doctors and healthcare systems that best meet your needs.

For example, HMOs are a great way to make sure that all of your needs are met under the umbrella of a single carrier without having to worry about managing reporting and payments with both Medicare and a supplemental.  HMOs have their limitations however. Mobile doctors have become much more prevalent – at least here in San Diego – and I have several clients taking a vantage of this great system.  If you are an older adult who finds it difficult to get to the doctor because of a lack of transportation or you are disabled, you probably want to consider Medicare with a supplemental that will cover the cost of mobile doctors.  If you are fully mobile and in a healthcare system that you love, an HMO may be a great fit for you.

Are there doctors or specialists you want access to that are not in your HMO?  If so, an HMO may not be a good option. There is a lot to consider in making your selection.

Medicare part D is also another potential minefield. Each carrier has its own formulary of what is covered under the low cost option and what is not. Medications that are not covered can get quite pricey.  Whenever I am helping a client look at their Medicare part D options I take a list of their medications and check the formularies of the various Medicare part D plans to see who is going to provide the best coverage for the current list of meds.

I asked Rhonda Norton to come talk with us because I know Rhonda to be a wonderful advocate for older adults and their insurance needs. At this seminar she will discuss Medicare and the options (both HMONG and supplemental) available as well as how to determine what is best for you. There will be no sales at this seminar as we really want our community to have the opportunity to learn more about Medicare without worrying about a "sales job".

Seating is limited to 30 attendees so please call us to reserve your spot. Refreshments will be served and you'll have plenty of time to ask questions and socialize with your neighbors.

If you are not able to attend but would like to speak with Rhonda, just give us a call and we'll put you in touch with her.  858-779-9254

Take care and have a wonderful rest of the week.

Laura Barish