MMAP Announces the Beginning of Medicare Shopping Season

October 15 through December 7 marks the start of Medicare shopping season. MMAP is urging Medicare beneficiaries and their family to review the new 2014 Medicare prescription drug plans.

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Each year, insurance companies have an opportunity to change their benefits. It is important that people with Medicare not only consider the price of their monthly premium, but also the plan formulary (drug list).

(PRWEB) October 29, 2013

Each year from October 15 through December 7, Medicare beneficiaries have an opportunity to enroll in a prescription drug plan for the new calendar year (2014). While individuals may stay with their current plan, the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) recommends individuals review their options before making a decision.

MMAP executive director, Jo Murphy said, “Each year, insurance companies have an opportunity to change their benefits. It is important that people with Medicare not only consider the price of their monthly premium, but also the plan formulary (drug list). They need to make sure the prescriptions they take will still be covered in 2014 and if there are any restrictions like requiring prior authorization, quantity limits or step therapy.”

Other considerations include the pharmacy they like to use, whether they want a mail-order option, and whether they will be able to get prescriptions if they travel. Many shoppers only look at the monthly premium while others prefer plans that don’t have an annual deductible before their coverage begins. Some people want a plan that provides coverage in the gap/donut hole, according to MMAP.

Murphy also reminded everyone, “There is help for low-income individuals. If they qualify for Extra Help they will have reduced co-pays at the drug store, and reduced or zero premiums in addition to little or no donut hole and a reduced or zero deductible for their Medicare prescription plans.”

If people would like local assistance they may call MMAP at 1-800-803-7174. This number will connect individuals with a counselor in their area who can assist with the research necessary to make an informed decision.

To review the new 2014 Medicare prescription drug plans Medicare beneficiaries or a family member may go to http://www.medicare.gov and use the Plan Finder to compare options. They may also call 1-800 Medicare (1-800-633-4227) for assistance over the telephone.

Beneficiaries who would like to talk with a MMAP counselor should call 1-800-803-7174.

About Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP)
MMAP (pronounced “map”) provides free health benefits counseling services for Michigan’s Medicare beneficiaries, including younger adults who have Medicare due to a disability and Medicare beneficiaries who may also qualify for Medicaid. MMAP counselors provide personalized counseling to help beneficiaries understand and make informed decisions about their Medicare benefits and plan options. MMAP also promotes Medicare Fraud Awareness and works to educate beneficiaries on how to detect and report suspected Medicare Fraud.

MMAP is part of the national networks of State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) and Senior Medicare Patrols (SMP). It is dedicated to providing objective and confidential health benefits counseling services and is not affiliated with nor does it receive funding from the insurance industry. Funding for MMAP comes from grants from the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


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