Time to think about Medicare annual enrollmentThe fall season brings many changes, including possible changes to your health and prescription drug coverage.
The fall season brings many changes, including possible changes to your health and prescription drug coverage.
By Sept. 30, insurance plans send out their annual notices of change. These notices detail the ways in which plans may change each calendar year. These can mean changes to the plans’ premiums, formularies, and benefits. It is important to carefully read and review these changes so you can decide if your plan continues to meet your needs in 2013.
Medicare also sends out the “Medicare & You” 2013 Handbook toward the end of September. This book contains a lot of useful information about Medicare benefits, rights and protections. Watch for it in the mail and keep this book handy as a reference guide. You can also download a copy from www.medicare.gov.
If your plan is leaving the Medicare program, you will receive this information by Oct. 2. Plans can begin sending out marketing materials Oct. 1. You can use this information to compare plans if you need to make a change. The Medicare annual enrollment period begins on Oct. 15 this year and will end Dec. 7. Changes you make during this period will become effective on Jan. 1.
If you need help reviewing your health or prescription drug coverage, the Elder Benefit Specialist can assist you with finding the plan that best suits your needs. She can also assist with enrollment into Part D prescription drugs plans. Don’t forget to ask about Medicare Savings Programs or Extra Help with Prescription Drug Costs. If you are single and your gross monthly income is less than $1,396 per month or $1,891/month for a couple, you may qualify for extra help with your prescription drug costs. If you are single and your income is less than $1,257 per month, $1,702 for a couple, you may qualify for Medicare premium assistance or more cost savings. Certain asset limits apply. Call Pat Nelson at (715) 395-7533 or (715) 394-3611 for information or an appointment.