Only a few days left in Medicare Annual Enrollment Period
Published 9:59 am Monday, December 1, 2014
Only a few days remain in the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare recipients to make changes to their current insurance or prescription plans.
The Medicare AEP opened Oct. 15, and the final day for plan participants to make changes is Dec. 7. Changes made during the AEP will take effect Jan. 1.
“Everybody on Medicare can make a change right now to their plans,” said Sharon Dicorato, vice president of sales and marketing for CrestPoint Health. “That is significant because once they make that election, they are locked into that plan for the year.”
It is important for all Medicare recipients to take advantage of the AEP, Dicorato said, because benefits the plans offer can change every single year. Some of the things that can change are co-pays, prescription coverage and which care providers are covered in the network.
“There is a lot of possibility for their benefits to change,” Dicorato said. “They need to assess the benefits of their plan to make sure it is still the right plan for them.”
During the AEP, Medicare participants can change from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan or switch from the Advantage Plan back to original Medicare. Participants may use the open enrollment also to change from one Advantage Plan to another, join Medicare’s prescription drug plan or switch from one drug plan to another.
“Most people either choose to get a Medicare supplement, in which Medicare pays the 80 percent and the supplement pays the 20 percent, or the person who has Medicare chooses to get a Medicare Advantage Plan where Medicare pays a premium to the insurance company, who then administers the insurance,” said Sam Monroe, an independent agent who represents United Healthcare.
With all the changes, Dicorato and Monroe said Medicare participants can become confused. For more information about CrestPoint Health Medicare plans, call 423-952-2190, and for more information on United Healthcare Medicare plans, call Monroe at 423-741-8897.
Northeast Community Credit Union has set up a series of information meetings on the Medicare enrollment for its members. On Tuesday at 10 a.m., representatives from Humana and CrestPoint will be at the Credit Union’s main office at 980 Jason Witten Way in Elizabethton. That afternoon at 2 p.m., a meeting will be held with United Healthcare. The credit union’s branch in Roan Mountain will hold a meeting with United Healthcare at 2 p.m. Wednesday and a meeting with Humana and CrestPoint at 10 a.m. Thursday.