What to expect for Medicare Annual Enrollment Period - East Idaho News

What to expect for Medicare Annual Enrollment Period

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Choosing the right health plan is personal.

When it comes to Medicare, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option, so it’s best to evaluate everything that’s on the table. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is here, and having the right information can provide guidance and help you avoid confusion. If you are enrolling for the first time or evaluating different Medicare plans, you may be searching for answers or resources to inform your decision. These tips can help make this decision easier!

Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is now

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period occurs each year from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. It’s important to review your plan regularly to make sure it still fits your needs. After you have compared plans and prices, it’s a good idea to call the insurance company representative or talk with a licensed insurance agent. Make sure you do all of this with plenty of time because you won’t want to miss out on your enrollment period.

For those enrolling in Medicare for the first time, you have a seven-month window around your birthday month to enroll. That is, three months before your birthday month, three months after your birthday month, and, of course, during your birthday month. Medicare coverage is only for individuals—it does not cover an entire family or household.

Trent Nate, assistant vice president of Select Health Sales in Idaho, emphasizes, “As the Medicare Annual Enrollment period begins, this time frame allows you to fine-tune your healthcare coverage and make sure your health plan is the right fit for your unique needs.”

Questions to ask about your Medicare Advantage Plan

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to picking the right Medicare Advantage Plan – but asking questions can help guide you towards the best choice for your specific health needs. Before choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, think about asking these questions:

How much will my monthly premium be?

This is the amount you pay every month for your insurance. These monthly costs can vary, so it’s important to ask how much you’ll pay each month before you pick a plan. Some Select Health Medicare Plans are $0 premium plans.

Are my prescription drugs covered?

Many people take one or more medications on a regular basis. It is important to review the drug formulary to make sure the medication(s) you take are covered by the plan and at a copay that makes sense for your budget.

When reviewing prescription drug coverage on Medicare Advantage plans, make sure you check:

  • Drug brand names and generics
  • Quantity limits (how much you can get in a specific time period)
  • Prior authorization requirements
  • Limited pharmacy access (some drugs are only available at specific pharmacies)
  • Prescription tiers and associated costs

“There are a lot of tools out there that allow you to shop plans and compare drugs costs between Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans,” Nate said. “Call us or your insurance agent and request a free drug analysis.”

What are some bonus perks available with Medicare Advantage plans?

Look for plans that offer added value. Many plans offer services, gym memberships, discounts on wellness, vision, dental coverage, and other extras.

For example, Select Health Medicare plans include a companionship program called Papa Pals. This service provides Pals who can help with light housekeeping or rides to the doctor.

Select Health also offers a Medicare Advantage plan with a monthly grocery benefit for those who qualify. With Select Health Medicare’s new Kroger Medicare Advantage plan, those with qualifying conditions—such as diabetes for example, can receive up to $55 monthly and up to $660 a year to use at Smith’s or Fred Meyer’s grocery stores.

Are my preferred doctors, providers, and hospitals available on my plan?

When looking at plans, make sure the doctors and places you usually go to are covered. If your doctors or locations are out of network, your plan won’t cover as much, and you might have to pay more.

In Idaho, Select Health Medicare has a broad network of providers with St. Luke’s Health, Saltzer Health, Primary Health Medical Group and more providers across 16 counties in the Gem state. Eastern Idaho plans include access to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, Mountain View Hospital, and Idaho Falls Community Hospital.

Why choose Select Health in Idaho?

Select Health is a nonprofit company committed to providing affordable and innovative wellness solutions to individuals, families, and businesses. Because there are many plans to choose from, it’s important to find the right one for you. These are some of the reasons why many Select Health members in Idaho choose to stay year after year.

Regional services: With a health plan that is locally owned and operated, you get customer service representatives who live where you do.
“When Select Health employees need healthcare, we use the same providers and clinics that you do,” said Nate. “This helps us understand how important it is to have local doctors and clinics available to everyone. It’s part of our promise of helping people live the healthiest lives possible.”

Stability: Select Health is celebrating 40 years in business in 2023, and we are expanding into other states. They are currently serving over 1 million members in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, and look forward to serving new members in Colorado beginning in 2023. When you choose Select Health, you are choosing a health plan that is here to stay.

Affordability: Select Health knows that rising healthcare costs are a big concern to help combat that, they offer competitively priced plans in every market, whether you’re an individual, a family, or a local business. On many plans, Select Health offers simplified copays for office visits, so you’re not paying extra for minor lab work or x-rays.

Expert guidance and resources at your fingertips

Exploring the complexities of Medicare may seem daunting, but you are not alone. Several resources and experts are here to help you make informed decisions. Local agents can offer guidance, and discussing your health needs openly with family can provide valuable insights.

If you have questions about Medicare Advantage or need or additional information and support, visit selecthealthmedicare.org or call (855) 442-9940 for personalized assistance in selecting the ideal Medicare Advantage plan to match your health needs.