Medicare MarketPlace Offers No-Cost Medicare Guide as Open Enrollment Approaches and Part B Hikes Loom for Some

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Possibility of Flat Social Security Checks and Higher Part B Costs in 2016 Could Add Pressure on Some Fixed-income Seniors

Guide to Medicare

Guide to Medicare: Helping You Navigate the Medicare Maze

We created this guide to help people understand Medicare so that shopping for supplemental Medicare health insurance and prescription drug plans is less stressful and so that people can better manage health care costs.

As potentially millions of Medicare beneficiaries prepare to re-evaluate their coverage during the Open Enrollment Period starting in mid-October, Medicare MarketPlace® is offering an easy-to-understand, free guide to Medicare online and in a limited print quantity.

If Social Security benefit payments stay stagnant as projected in 2016, people who rely on both a Social Security check and Medicare especially will need help stretching every dollar, said Brian Hickey, vice president of Medicare MarketPlace.

“Medicare can be confusing,” Hickey said. “We created this guide to help people understand Medicare so that shopping for supplemental Medicare health insurance and prescription drug plans is less stressful and so that people can better manage health care costs.”

Consumers can request a printed copy of the “Guide to Medicare: Helping You Navigate the Medicare Maze” by calling 1-800-639-0781, where they will speak to one of Medicare MarketPlace’s licensed insurance agents. Quantities are limited. A downloadable guide is available at https://www.MedicareMarketPlace.com/guide.cfm.

The Open Enrollment Period, from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans. Because plans and premiums can change from year to year, Medicare MarketPlace encourages beneficiaries to review their plans to identify potential cost increases or savings. People who have Medicare Supplement health insurance plans may also want to review their policy each year, because those premiums can change, too. Medicare Supplement plans can be purchased year-round, but beneficiaries may be required to answer health questions to determine eligibility.

“Even with our ‘Guide to Medicare,’ all the rules, deadlines and changes surrounding Medicare can overwhelm consumers,” Hickey said. “Reviewing a plan with one of our licensed insurance agents can ease some of this anxiety. We can help find a plan that works for each person’s specific needs and budget — we don’t push a particular carrier or policy.”

Adding to confusion in recent weeks was news that some Medicare beneficiaries could face a 52-percent increase in their Medicare Part B premiums and deductibles in 2016. The anticipated increases stem from the Social Security Administration’s projection in July that it won’t issue its usual cost-of-living adjustment in 2016 because of flat inflation. A special rule spares about 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries from the anticipated Price B premium increases but means the remaining 30 percent will bear the brunt. That 30 percent includes anyone who enrolls in Part B for the first time in 2016; enrollees who pay their Medicare Part B premium directly to Medicare (including some federal retirees); and enrollees who pay an income-related higher premium.

Medicare MarketPlace’s guide is ideal for first-time enrollees but also helpful for those already in Medicare. It includes two checklists — one to help people gather what they need to enroll at age 65 and one to review plans every year after that.

About Medicare MarketPlace®
Since 2008, Medicare MarketPlace® has helped thousands of consumers shop easily for Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage health care plans and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans online or by phone with the assistance of a licensed insurance agent who specializes in Medicare-related insurance products. Visitors to http://www.MedicareMarketPlace.com can quote and compare Medicare health plans in their area or simply learn more about Medicare. Medicare MarketPlace is a division of Insuractive®, Inc., a Nebraska resident insurance agency. Based in Omaha, Nebraska, Insuractive is also licensed as a nonresident insurance agency, or otherwise authorized to transact business as an insurance agency, in all states and the District of Columbia. Medicare MarketPlace and Insuractive are not connected with or endorsed by the United States government or the federal Medicare program.

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Dan Trumblee
Senior Market Sales
+1 (402) 343-3689 Ext: 3689
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