Make Medi­care changes now

The Ambler Gazette - - OPINION -

Medi­care and sup­ple­men­tal health cov­er­age pro­vide a safety net for those age 65 and up, but in­sur­ance cov­er­age, at best, can be con­fus­ing.

For the nearly 117,000 Mont­gomery County res­i­dents who are 65 years or older now is the time to think about KHDOWK FDUH FRYHUDgH, DV 2FW. 15 wDV WKH fiUVW GDy DnG Dec. 7 the last day those with Medi­care can make changes to their health in­sur­ance plans.

Fol­low­ing are tips from one in­sur­ance car­rier for those us­ing Medi­care.

•EYHn LI yRu’UH KDSSy wLWK yRuU FuUUHnW FRYHUDgH, LW doesn’t hurt to com­pare plans. Most plans make changes ev­ery year, so it’s worth check­ing even if you care­fully con­sid­ered plans last year. ff you still like what you have, do noth­ing and you’ll au­to­mat­i­cally be re-en­rolled in your cur­rent plan.

•2ULgLnDO 0HGLFDUH (3DUWV $ DnG B) GRHVn’W FRYHU HYery­thing. Take a look at your reg­u­lar monthly health care ex­penses and de­cide what plan cov­ers what you need at the best cost. Orig­i­nal Medi­care doesn’t cover ev­ery­thing and has no lim­its on out-of-pocket ex­penses.

•0HGLFDUH $GYDnWDgH SODnV SURYLGH DGGLWLRnDO EHnH­fiWV. 0HGLFDUH $GYDnWDgH SODnV (3DUW C) DUH DnRWKHU RS­tion to orig­i­nal Medi­care. They pro­vide com­pre­hen­sive cov­er­age with fewer out-of-pocket costs than orig­i­nal Medi­care and of­ten in­clude cov­er­age for pre­scrip­tion GUugV (3DUW D). 0HGLFDUH $GYDnWDgH SODnV DOVR RIIHU DGGLWLRnDO EHnH­fiWV, VuFK DV KHDULng, GHnWDO, YLVLRn VHUYLFHV, help manag­ing chronic con­di­tions such as di­a­betes, and ad­di­tional sup­port af­ter a hos­pi­tal­iza­tion.

•CKHFN WKDW yRuU nHWwRUN LnFOuGHV GRFWRUV DnG KRVSL­tals you will need. vour health needs can change, so it’s best to think ahead to be sure you have easy ac­cess to qual­ity health care ser­vices.

•0DNH VuUH yRuU SODn FRYHUV WKH PHGLFDWLRnV yRu WDNH. ,I yRu’UH EuyLng D 0HGLFDUH 3UHVFULSWLRn (3DUW D) SODn, check if there’s cov­er­age for your drugs in the “donut hole.” This is where you are re­spon­si­ble for a cer­tain per­cent­age of charges af­ter reach­ing your pre­scrip­tion cov­er­age limit and be­fore you reach the yearly out-of-pocket max­i­mum spend­ing limit.

•,I SRVVLEOH, GRn’W wDLW unWLO WKH ODVW PLnuWH WR HnUROO. The ex­tra time helps your in­sur­ance com­pany ver­ify your el­i­gi­bil­ity, get you prop­erly set up in their sys­tem, or­der your fD card, and en­sure a smooth tran­si­tion from 2012 to 2013.

•,W’V 2. WR FKDngH yRuU PLnG. FURP -Dn. 1 WR FHE. 14, 0HGLFDUH EHnH­fiFLDULHV FDn FDnFHO WKHLU 0HGLFDUH $GYDn­tage plan and sign up for a Medi­care Sup­ple­ment, or re­turn to orig­i­nal Medi­care.

Where to go for help. A li­censed bro­ker can pro­vide you with all the in­for­ma­tion you need to make an in­formed de­ci­sion and even come to your home to ed­u­cate you. Also, many health plans of­fer community meet­ings DERuW 0HGLFDUH. CKHFN wLWK Dn LnVuUHU nRw WR finG RuW.

7KH RI­fiFLDO 8.6. gRYHUnPHnW VLWH IRU 0HGLFDUH, wKLFK in­cludes in­for­ma­tion on re­lated sup­ple­men­tal health plans is at www.medi­care.gov.

By hathy Disque

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