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

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