The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period ends Wednesday, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2012. During the Medicare Annual Enrollment period, Medicare-eligible beneficiaries can sign up or make changes to their current coverage, including choosing a Medicare managed care plan (Medicare Advantage or standalone prescription drug plans).
In years past, Medicare has allowed eligible beneficiaries to make a second change to their coverage between Jan. 1 and March 31, called the Open Enrollment Period. Health care reform has eliminated the Open Enrollment Period and substituted it with an Annual Disenrollment Period, which allows Medicare eligible beneficiaries to disenroll from Medicare Advantage plans and revert back to traditional (fee-for-service) Medicare and/or elect a standalone prescription drug plan.
Many Medicare-eligible beneficiaries might wait until it is too late to enroll in managed care plans. These plans offer more cost savings and benefits than traditional (fee-for-service) Medicare. Senior Care Plus wants to educate the public about the change and cut down on possible beneficiary confusion and frustration.
“After Dec. 7, members will be locked in to their plans until next year’s Annual Enrollment Period,” said Matt Ladich, director of government programs for Hometown Health. “Medicare Advantage plans can offer greater medical, prescription drug and supplemental benefits in one plan with one insurance carrier versus other arrangements – this allows for lower costs and convenience to the beneficiary.”
For more information about Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period, visit seniorcareplus.com or call 982-3158 or toll-free 888-775-7003.