Medicare Plan for 2019 » Discussions


Medicare Plan for 2019

  • Leader
    October 15, 2018

     


    INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers ages 65-plus have about seven weeks to select a Medicare health insurance plan. Open enrollment for the federal health insurance program begins today and runs through December 7. 

    CEO of Medicare and Retirement for United Healthcare in Indiana Charlotte MacBeth said premiums and plan coverage can change from year to year, so she recommends even those who were happy with their 2018 Medicare coverage review their choices. She said one important element to understand is the maximum out-of-pocket expenses.

    "One of the things that Medicare Advantage enables a person to do is to provide protection around the maximum out-of-pocket expenditures that you have in a year's period. And that will vary from plan to plan,” MacBeth said. “But in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you have a cap on your expenditures."

    Other elements to consider when choosing a plan are whether it includes your current doctor or medical provider, if you need vision or hearing services, and if you want additional perks such as fitness membership or discounts on hearing aids. There are about 1.3 million people in Indiana who are eligible for Medicare, and nearly 1-in-4 was enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan in 2018.

    When selecting a Medicare plan, MacBeth said changes that are unique to your own health and lifestyle are most important to consider.

    "If you have a change in income year over year or a change in health-care needs year over year, those are the ones that will dictate how you might want to look at a plan,” she said; “not necessarily changes in Medicare, because those are pretty stable from year to year."

    She also noted those who need help with the cost of medication should select either a Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with prescription coverage, since original Medicare doesn't cover those costs. More information on Medicare plans is available online at medicare.gov and at UHC.com.


    An estimated 1.3 million people in Indiana are eligible for Medicare. (Twenty20.com)


    October 15, 2018

  • Leader
    October 15, 2018

    What You Need to Know This Medicare Enrollment Season


    By Rick Beavin, California Market President


    Humana


    It’s that time of year when people with Medicare review their health insurance choices and enroll in a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan for the coming year. 


    People typically have a lot of questions as they research their Medicare options, which primarily include Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans, before finding the plan that best fits their needs.


    Here are some of the most commonly asked questions Humana licensed health insurance agents get from consumers during the Medicare Annual Election Period:


    When is the annual enrollment period to choose a Medicare plan for 2019?


    The Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plan Annual Election Period takes place from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, 2018, for coverage that takes effect Jan. 1, 2019. 


    Do I have to re-enroll in Medicare every year?


    You don’t need to sign up for Original Medicare each year. However, you should review your Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan coverage annually, since Medicare plans and personal circumstances can change every year. If you take no action during the annual enrollment period, you’ll typically automatically be re-enrolled in your same medical or prescription plan for 2019. 


    Does Medicare include coverage for my prescription drugs? 


    Original Medicare does not cover most prescription drugs. Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, or you can sign up for a Part D Prescription Drug Plan separately. A licensed agent can look up your medications and tell you what the cost of each drug would be on a plan.


    How are health insurers like Humana able to offer Medicare Advantage plans with no monthly premium?


    Private insurers keep premiums low through programs like disease and chronic care management, which help people better manage health conditions and, in turn, reduce health care costs. Keep in mind that you still need to pay your Medicare Part B premium, which covers medical services and preventive care. You might want to use the additional premium dollars you save for out-of-pocket medical costs, such as co-pays.


     


    How do I find out if my doctors, hospitals and specialists are in my Medicare Advantage provider network?


    Most Medicare Advantage plans offer easy-to-use online tools to help you find doctors and hospitals that are in the plan’s network. A licensed agent can also help you look up hospitals and doctors to see if they’re accepting an idea and taking new patients. 


    If I select a Medicare plan for the coming year and then find I don’t like it, can I drop it and choose another plan?


    The plan you select by Dec. 7 will be your Medicare plan for all of 2019, with few exceptions, so it’s wise to research your options carefully. If you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan for 2019, and then find it’s not the right fit, between Jan. 1 and March 31, there will be an Open Enrollment Period during which you can switch from a Medicare Advantage or a Medicare Advantage-Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Advantage plan with or without prescription drug coverage, or choose Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan. Full information on 2019 Medicare health and prescription drug plans is available on www.medicare.gov, and for Humana plans at www.humana.com/Medicare. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) (or TTY: 1-877-486-2048) 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or call Humana at 1-877-877-0714 (TTY use 711) 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time seven days a week.


     


    Humana is a Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and PFFS organization, and a stand-alone prescription drug plan, with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in any Humana plan depends on plan renewal.