AARP encourages its members and all older Americans with Medicare to take advantage of the Medicare open enrollment period, which continues through Dec. 7.
Given the simultaneous open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, AARP is making sure people with Medicare know about the options they have during Medicare open enrollment, where to turn for help and helping to clear up confusion.
During 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. 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 1-800-633-4227. When reviewing available plans, AARP recommends considering each of the following:
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 visit 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.”
For more information on Medicare Open Enrollment, people can visit www.aarp.org/openenrollment.
For more information on the Affordable Care Act visit www.HealthLawFacts.org.