Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Autumn & Medicare Changes

With autumn come plans for Thanksgiving, the Christmas holidays, and the New Year. It is also time to reflect on critical decisions that may affect your health and finances.

For those aged 65 and above, Medicare's annual open enrollment period is coming up. If you are enrolled in Medicare, this is your chance to make unrestricted changes to coverage. Or you might leave your coverage the same, after a careful review of the pros and cons.

Do you want to stick with Original Medicare? Would you prefer to switch to a private Medicare Advantage Plan? If so, which one? Would you be better served by dropping your current drug plan and switching?

Be aware of these new developments:

The period to make insurance decisions has been moved to Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. (Last year, it was from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31).

Drug plan enrollees will get a 50% discount on brand name drugs when they hit the donut hole, or coverage gap. In 2012, your discount on generic drugs will go up to 14%, from 7% in 2011.

In 2012, Medicare Advantage plans will offer preventive care services for free.
Take away: Read your Annual Notice of Change, sent by your insurance company to your mail box at home. Read it over carefully. Plans make changes to benefits — and costs — every year. Understand the changes to your benefits and how much they will cost you.

You might need to do some additional research online or by calling your insurance company to see if your current plan still suits your needs.

GOT QUESTIONS? GET SOME FREE COUNSELING. Here are a few resources to start with:
Medicare:; 1-800-MEDICARE
Medicare Rights Center:; 1-800-333-4114
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): A national program that offers one-on-one counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families.


About Lisa C Smith

Attorney Lisa C. Smith believes that many legal problems can be resolved by working out agreements, legal documents, and creative solutions for businesses and families. Her goal is to provide quality legal representation with personal service and respect.

Read more at Lisa C. Smith's website.

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Call for a consultation today at 210.863.7472

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