Medicare Warning and Solution
If You’re On Medicare, Beware!
To all you fortunate ones who have made it to Medicare eligibility, welcome, and now the fun begins!
Actually, some of you all may not find it that fun to sort through the endless stream of information in order to find the right health plan.
And who can forget the endless commercials that promise you more than you can ever imagine and all you have to do is call an 800 number. My apologies to those who have actually taken the time to call one of those numbers only to find out you don’t qualify for all the freebies and afterward are inundated with calls
What’s happening in the world of Medicare is the push to move folks to the Advantage Plans. They are very competitive right now and also very attractively priced since most come with a $0 premium per month, which is awesome. However, they are possibly not the best for everyone.
One of the great misunderstandings is the times of year you can enroll in an Advantage Plan or a Prescription Drug Plan. Starting in October and ending in December is the Annual Enrollment Period. It’s a great time to review your coverage and make certain your prescriptions are covered under the plan as well as the network of doctors and hospital that are available.
I’ve heard so many clients say “I’ll be glad when this enrollment time is over so we will quit seeing those commercials on the television”. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, but those commercials will continue to run because you now have what’s called an “Open Enrollment Period”. Open Enrollment runs from January to March and is for folks that feel like they didn’t sign up for the best Advantage Plan or they simply don’t like the Advantage Plan concept and want to go back to regular Medicare Part A and B.
Here is my warning to you. Beware! Most of those 800 numbers are call centers. They are Sales People. They exist to sell you something. You’re not talking to people that know you, care about you, or are interested in what’s best for you.
Also, beware of the telephone calls you receive. According to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, agents and companies are not allowed to call you without your expressed permission. This means that these national call centers are basically breaking the law by calling your telephone number! Their method of sales is deception. My warning is “do not talk to them, hang up the telephone, they are skilled at getting information from you”.
So, what are the solutions? Talk to local agents and agencies when you can. If you’re good with technology, you can go to Medicare.gov and search for the best plan for yourself. Contact your local Council on Aging and get their advice as well. Sometimes your best advisors are the ones that live and work in your community.
Written by: Donald Vaughan
The Vaughan Agency
Pomeroy, Ohio 45769