SCAN Health Plan Offers Tips for Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan During the Annual Enrollment Period
Date Posted: 12/01/2013
Medicare beneficiaries have less than one week to make their health plan selection for 2014 as Medicare’s annual enrollment period comes to a close on December 7. With so many options beneficiaries can have a hard time making this important decision.
“There are many factors to consider when selecting a health plan,” said Karen Sugano, general manager of SCAN Health Plan in Northern California. “The best way to choose a plan is to invest the time in doing some research. Make notes about cost, coverage, convenience and customer service to find the plan that best fits with your budget and healthcare needs.”
For beneficiaries still considering their options, here are four things that can help with selecting a health plan:
Identify your specific healthcare needs. One size does not fit all. If you need a vision plan, make sure vision is included. If there is a favorite doctor you want to continue seeing, be sure that he or she is affiliated with the health plan. If you take many prescription drugs, you may want to consider a Medicare Advantage plan that also offers prescription drug coverage rather than enrolling in a separate Part D prescription drug plan.
Think beyond the doctor’s office. Do you exercise or have you committed to being more active in 2014? Some Medicare Advantage plans offer health club memberships, such as the SilverSneakers® program, which includes advice from experts in exercise, nutrition and life skills.
Look at costs beyond the plan premiums. In addition to a monthly cost, a plan's co-payments and deductibles will have an impact on your healthcare budget. Be sure to consider these costs when comparing plans.
If you’re confused or overwhelmed, get help online or via phone. One resource is the online Medicare Plan Finder, a tool that provides personalized cost estimates and coverage information: https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx. Help comparing plans and enrolling is also available by calling Medicare directly at 800-633-4227 (TTY Users: 711) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
SCAN Health Plan has focused exclusively on the unique needs of seniors and others on Medicare for more than 35 years. The not-for-profit health plan currently has 150,000 members in California. Further information may be obtained at scanhealthplan.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/scanhealthplan.
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