Be informed. Making changes to a Medicare plan is a personal choice based on each beneficiary’s health needs and preferences.
Washington, DC (PRWEB) November 05, 2012
As Medicare Open Enrollment period progresses, the National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) encourages Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers to review their unique health needs and priorities so they can compare them to their current plans. If a beneficiary’s current plan is not meeting his or her needs, now it the time to shop around for the appropriate plan. Each year, Medicare beneficiaries are given the chance to review their current drug and health care plans to ensure it fits each individual needs. As with any other decision, it is important to get all the facts before making an informed decision.
Following the three Cs is a good criterion to keep in mind when reviewing current plan and making the decision whether or not to make changes. See the fact sheet attached for more information on the three Cs:
Cost: Are premiums and deductibles what the beneficiary expects? How much is the beneficiary paying for hospital stays and visits to the doctor? By evaluating the beneficiary's current health care costs, s/he can find coverage that works with his or her budget.
Coverage: Are the services the beneficiary needs covered in the plan considering? Did the beneficiary's doctor change his or her prescriptions this year or does s/he have more health concerns than last year? It’s important that the services and care the beneficiary needs in the coming year are covered by the plan chosen.
Convenience: Can prescriptions be received by mail? Is the doctor closest to the beneficiary accepting the type of coverage s/he has? When comparing plans, beneficiaries should make sure to check which doctors and hospitals s/he will be able to use. Also, beneficiaries should check which pharmacies they can use.It's important to make sure the plan you fits each beneficiary's lifestyle.
Also, it is important to keep in mind that Open Enrollment is optional. If beneficiaries don’t want to make any changes, then their current plan will continue in 2013.
Be informed. Making changes to a Medicare plan is a personal choice based on each beneficiary’s health needs and preferences. No one should pressure beneficiaries to make a decision that is not favorable to their health or well-being. In fact, soliciting or pressuring seniors to switch or change their Medicare drug or health care plan is against the law. For tips on how to protect, detect, and report Medicare fraud, see the fact sheet attached.
Consequently, NHCOA also encourages Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers to be aware of potential scams during Medicare Open Enrollment and be part of the Medicare fraud prevention efforts of the National Hispanic SMP program, which is dedicated to helping Latino seniors across the country protect, detect and report Medicare fraud. To learn more about the National Hispanic SMP, visit NHCOA’s website: http://www.nhcoa.org/medicare or call 1-866-488-7379.
The best way to compare and review Medicare plans is by using the Medicare Plan Finder, an online comparison tool available at Medicare dot gov, or by calling toll-free 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633 4227).
The National Hispanic Council on Aging is the leading organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers.