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October 29, 2013

Medicare Open Enrollment

Important Dates: October 15th through December 7th

It is time for you to make changes to your healthcare coverage. If you’re not happy with your current plan, now is the time to make changes or opt for a new plan.

It is important for you to check your mail carefully because your current plan may send options and updates for the 2014 coverage. It is possible your current plan may change and these notifications will be helpful in determining if your plan is still right for you. Other agencies such as Medicare or Social Security will send information to you regarding federal and state programs that may assist with the medical and prescription drug coverage. Other companies will send brochures explaining their coverage options. These companies can also be seen through advertisements in newspapers, magazines, TV, and radio. It is essential to know your options and find a plan that meets your medical needs.

Make sure to thoroughly research your options and the plans available. The Medicare.gov website has the basic information to get you started. The site has many links to help sort through it all. For example, you can read about “Medicare and You”. The Medicare and You booklet will explain the traditional Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. The Extra Help section can direct you to articles and agencies that offer assistance with payment of premiums, copays and deductibles, if you financially qualify. The Medicare Plan Finder will assist you in the process of comparing policy costs and coverage.

Before you pick a plan, think about your medical costs. Each beneficiary has different needs and expenses. Ask yourself these questions and verify coverage details with the plan administrator:

  1. Does the plan cover the services you need?
  2. What is the premium cost?
  3. What is the yearly deductible?
  4. What percentage of cost is your responsibility for hospital stays, physician visits, medical equipment rental?
  5. What is the premium cost?
  6. Does the policy require you to only use in network or participating providers? If so, check to see if your physician’s and other medical providers such as Breath of Life are part of the network.

After you have determined the best option for your situation, be sure to let Breath of Life and your medical professionals know about any changes in your coverage. Many policies require special forms, authorizations, and/or referrals; so, it is important to pass along the information as soon as you receive your new policy materials.

Download the Medicare & You document below:

Medicare and You PDF