It’s Medicare open enrollment time for seniors in Tennessee
Published 11:28 am Thursday, October 20, 2022
(TNNS) Medicare’s annual open enrollment period has started this month and continues through Dec. 7.
It is the time close to 1.4 million Tennesseans eligible for Medicare can compare plans, and make any changes for the coming year.
Gary Culp, chief growth officer for Cigna Medicare Advantage, said during this time period, it is essential for anyone on Medicare to review their coverage options and make sure their plan still meets their healthcare needs, because the coverage can change from year to year.
“Many people are looking at Medicare Advantage plans,” Culp pointed out. “In fact, close to half of the Medicare beneficiaries today have chosen a Medicare Advantage plan, because they offer all of what traditional Medicare offers and more. Things like transportation to and from a doctor’s office, or fitness programs, prescription drug benefits.”
Many insurers offer Medicare Advantage plans, which typically cost more than the basic Medicare supplement plan because of those added benefits. People who enroll in Medicare choose a supplement or an advantage plan to help cover the expenses Medicare doesn’t cover. Culp added some of the Cigna plans include vision, hearing and dental coverage, plus meals and caregiving services if needed.
Next year, Medicare will be able to negotiate prices with drug companies, due to the Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to lower prescription costs for people on Medicare and reduce federal spending.
Culp stressed it is important for people to choose a plan with preventive services, the doctors and specialists they see, and any prescription drugs they take.
“So if I’m on medications, you know, you certainly want to look at a plan that has drug coverage included,” Culp advised. “And many of the Cigna Medicare plans actually offer drug coverage as part of their overall coverage.”
If drug coverage isn’t included, you might have to enroll in a separate plan, known as Part D, which covers prescriptions. Culp said the Cigna website has some tools and resources to help people navigate their options.