The changes to Medicare may result in plan participants opting to switch from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare, and supplementing Medicare with a separate Part D and Medigap plan.
Denver, CO (PRWEB) April 28, 2011
As the debate rages on in Washington over the future of Medicare, many may not know of the changes already in place for 2012.
Medicare Colorado, a division of Colorado Benefits & Financial Services, will have the first of many Colorado statewide community meetings on May 7th in Boulder, CO, to discuss changes and options for Medicare beneficiaries in 2012 and beyond.
Changes for 2012 will affect Original Medicare, as well as Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Plans.
One of the many changes for the upcoming year is the Open Enrollment Period. Traditionally, the enrollment period for Medicare Advantage or Part D has been November 15th through December 31st. In 2011, the Open Enrollment Period will start October 15th and end December 7th. This is a significant change for many beneficiaries that could result in choosing a plan that does not meet their needs in 2012.
Insurance companies approved to offer Medicare Advantage plans will receive less reimbursement from the government in 2012, as well, which may result in higher premiums and less benefits in plans.
In addition, Original Medicare is now offering many benefits, such as annual wellness exams and preventative services, at no cost to the beneficiary. With Medicare picking up additional costs usually paid by the beneficiary or the Medigap insurance company, beneficiaries could see a decrease in their out-of-pocket costs and premiums.
"The changes to Medicare may result in plan participants opting to switch from Medicare Advantage back to Original Medicare, and supplementing Medicare with a separate Part D and Medigap plan," stated Scott Stafford, local Medicare Colorado insurance agent. "The more educated and informed a client is, the more likely he or she will enroll in a plan that best suits their needs."
One of the biggest changes to Medicare benefits, the closing of the coverage gap, began this year. The infamous coverage gap, or "donut hole," in Part D Prescription Drug plans was narrowed this year and will eventually close by 2020. In 2011, those in the coverage gap will see a 50 percent discount on brand name drugs and a 7 percent discount on generic drugs until the $4,550 cap is reached.
Medicare Colorado will continue to reach out to beneficiaries throughout the year to help them make informed and educated decisions regarding their Medicare supplemental options and benefits. Currently, Medicare Colorado Community Meetings are scheduled in Boulder, Colorado Springs, Longmont, Pueblo, Lone Tree, Broomfield, Canon City, Parker, Highlands Ranch, and Castle Rock.
Medicare Colorado agents are available to answer questions over the phone, as well as office or in-home appointments. Call toll-free at 1-800-380-1644. Medicare Colorado also offers updates on Twitter @MedicareCO.