September 2016 

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Questions You Should Ask During Open Enrollment

Open enrollment is here, and it is time to consider renewing your individual health plan, or consider a new one. We can help you review your options and get you the best coverage for yourself and your family.

This year the Medicare enrollment is set for 2016. What this means is that between October 15, 2016 through December 7, 2017, you will have the opportunity to look at the market place to see which Medicare Advantage plans, or gap plans, are available for year 2016. Anyone wanting to switch plans will have to do so during the AEP, as after December 7, 2017, no plan changes will be allowed.

Here are some Medicare facts to remember:
  1. Using an agent does not cost you anymore.
  2. When you are first eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Part A and/or Part B.
  3. January 1 to March 31 each year is the standard enrollment period. If you didn't sign up for Part A and/or Part B when you were first eligible, and you aren't eligible for a Special Enrollment Period (see below), you can sign up during the General Enrollment.
  4. Once your Initial Enrollment Period ends, you may have the chance to sign up for Medicare during a Special Enrollment Period. If you are covered under a group health plan based on current employment, and that plan ends, you can call us for enrollment options 

Generic Drugs Can Save You Money

One of the many good things about Medicare is the wealth of information that we receive on costs and usage.  Recently a study was conducted that concluded individuals who used name brand drugs paid about 10 times more in co-payments than those who used generic drugs.  Physicians can prescribe generic medications if they choose to do so.

When seniors have such high co-payments, they are forced to choose between food and drugs according to the study.  Many times the patient and doctor may not even know the cost of the drug.  Often, people tend to lean toward brand names due to advertising to consumers and marketing to doctors.

This is yet another reason it is important to be an informed consumer and active in all your health decisions.
Source: KHN, Rachel Bluth