Saturday, September 29, 2018

MediCare’s AEP starts October 1st. Some info!

MediCare sets the rules for what is called the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), It is not the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) which does not start until January. Some points on the rules:  
    ● This year the AEP runs from October 1, 2018, to December 7, 2018.
    ● Individuals enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan or a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan have an opportunity during the AEP to change options within their current company or to select a new plan from another company.
    ● Companies have to send information to everyone enrolled in one of their plans on by October 1st. The notice is called an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC). 
    ● Companies are allowed to make information about their 2019 coverage options and monthly cost available starting October 1st.
    ● Want to make a change or enroll with a new company?  Change or new plan enrollments cannot be submitted until Oct 15th.

Have questions about a Medicare Advantage plan?  This page has general information on how they work.  
Have questions about enrolling in MediCare? There is an overview on this page.

There will be a new Medicare Advantage plan in New London County starting January 1st.  The plan will have MDs throughout the County but based on the participating hospital it will be more effective for individuals living in the Northern part of our County.

Want to understand the Medicare Advantage options in New London County?  
The rules say I can not directly contact individuals but if you Call or Text me on Oct 1st or after - that’s OK. 
John C Parker's Google Voice line is (860) 451-9793 - contact to set up a no-obligation meeting to discuss the value of Medicare Advantage Plans.

John C Parker, RHU, LTCP
Niantic CT  

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Medicare's Annual Election Period - Part 2

Medicare Advantage (MA) is a type of insurance for individuals on Medicare to cover most of the medical related treatment expenses Medicare does not pay. MA plans are increasing in interest to many since an individual's monthly cost is (often) more economical than for a Medicare Supplement plan plus a stand-alone Part D plan for prescriptions.

      In addition, the more coordinated approach helps consumers. A recent study by the Better Medicare Alliance found "individuals in private MA plans had one-third fewer ER visits and 23% fewer stays in a hospital than those in traditional fee for service Medicare.”

CMS, the federal agency managing MediCare, has been exploring and implementing ways over recent years to improve treatment and the way it is provided to individuals. Beginning in January 2019 Medicare Advantage companies are allowed to include certain services focused on improving effectiveness and treatment outcomes. They are not required so MA companies will implement them in different ways. 

I’m excited about another change. A new Medicare Advantage company being established in CT will be available in New London County. It's CarePartners of Connecticut and their plans will: 

     Focus on working with consumers in a better way. A person's treatments will be coordinated and managed so they will not experience delays.

     Offer three benefit options designed to provide what consumers want.

     Work with MDs in a very different way. Primary Care physicians will work closely with each individual. The paperwork requirements MDs now have will be reduced and treatment authorizations eliminated.

Medicare’s Annual Election Period (AEP) starts in October. Individuals can change their coverage or enroll in a new plan such as Care Partners between October 15 and December 7 to be effective January 1, 2019.

John C Parker, RHU, LTCP
Niantic CT

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Medicare's Annual Election Period is coming

Background: MediCare's agreement with MDs and other providers is to pay them 80% of the treatment or service they provide. Thus, since an individual is responsible for 20% and there are so many kinds of outpatient treatment this cost could quickly become a Big Risk to your income & savings - but can be avoided by buying a type of insurance I refer to as Medicare Health Plans. 

If you currently have a Medicare Advantage plan or a Prescription Drug Plan the time to think about new coverage starting Jan. 1, 2019 is coming soon. It's called the Annual Election Period (AEP) and starts Oct 15, 2018.

Information on 2019 plans is not available until Oct 1st. However, to assist in being more informed, in general, on how this type of plan works the red link has an overview and useful details: 

        Medicare Advantage Plan in Southeastern CT 

If you have a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) the time to think about changing your PDP coverage also starts Oct 15, 2018. Some general info on a PDP is on the red link: 

        Medicare Supplement in Southeastern CT or

Each type has options so you can select the best one for your personal situation and your budget.

BTW: New MediCare ID cards were mailed to individuals in CT. 

Not get a card? There is a picture of the new card and information on how to get your card on this page. 

Friday, September 07, 2018

How are the dollars I spend each month for medical insurance used?

A quick note to share a chart on how an average dollar a person spends each month for their medical insurance is used.

Prescription drugs take the biggest share at 23.3 cents. The other things it is spent on are also shown in cents.

Information under the chart has some points on:

    ☀︎  Other reasons medical insurance is expensive

    ☀︎  What can be done about high medical costs

    ☀︎  Suggestions for things to do to make a better decision on an upcoming treatment.

John C Parker, RHU, LTCP