Living Well Committee
Summary of Medicare Open Enrollment Seminar
By Lynne Barringer
On Wednesday, October 26, Robson Ranch residents attended an informative and timely seminar on Medicare given by Jackie Hixson. 2017 Medicare coverage open enrollment is from October 15 to December 7, 2016. During the annual enrollment period, you can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa, from one Medicare Advantage Program to another, or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another.
This enrollment period covers Part C Advantage Plans and Part D Prescription Plans. Medigap policies can be switched at any time and not changed during annual enrollment. If you didn't enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during the general open enrollment. A late enrollment penalty may apply.
Individuals who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan who don't want to make changes in 2017 coverage, need not do anything during open enrollment if your plan is still available in 2017.
Original Medicare Coverage is Medicare Part A hospital insurance and Part B that covers where Part A leaves off, including outpatient services of doctor visits, preventive medical services, etc. Advantage Part C allows enrollees to go beyond Original Medicare with managed care programs administered by private health insurers. Part D is prescription drug coverage. Medigap is Medicare supplemental insurance to help with Medicare expenses including copayments, deductibles and traveling out of the country. The plans are identified by letters A through N with prices varying from one carrier to another within each letter. All plans offer the same benefits regardless of where you live or what insurance carrier you use.
The difference between Advantage Plans and Medigap Plans is that a Medigap Plan gives you more freedom to select doctors. When switching from an Advantage Plan to a Medigap Plan, health questions will be required to gain that coverage.
It was appreciated that Ms. Hixson let the audience know that Medicare medical coverage is good quality medical coverage for seniors at reasonable prices when compared to available alternatives.
All content within presentations sponsored by the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee is intended for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a professional health care provider. Neither the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee, Robson Ranch Denton HOA, nor Robson Communities is responsible or liable for the content and do not endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in any presentation.