Medicare 2017 Open EnrollmentSubmitted by QSSA - Better Financial Solutions for Life on October 14th, 2016
The 2017 Medicare Open Enrollment period (October 15th to December 7th) is here and it can be filled with many complicated choices.
- Do I choose Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans?
- Do I have one plan or more than one?
- If I choose an Advantage plan, do I give up Medicare?
- Will I be covered out of State or out of Country?
- Am I locked in to my plan choice and for how long?
- Can I be denied coverage?
The list of questions can go on and on. The decisions you make are personal choices that you need to consider individually. Your spouse DOES NOT have to be on the same plan as you; you may have different needs. There are many alternatives available to you and you are going to be bombarded with an endless stream of mail, advertisements, commercials’ and online ads. If you choose to look at them, don’t stress out. Glance at them, discard the ones that don’t make sense and find a qualified advisor to help you with your choices. There are plenty of insurance representatives’ available that will sell you a plan they are authorized to sell. Find a representative you can trust that will review your individual needs, will give you alternative solutions and find you a plan that will fit within your budget. Generally there is no charge for their service and the insurance companies they represent they will compensate them when you sign up for a plan. There is no difference in price if you go directly to an insurance company to enroll or if you enroll with an advisor. The advantage of an advisor is that you should have choices with the advisor.
Not just one companies plans.
Don’t give up your choices. If you are still employed and you are covered by an employer plan you may not need to do anything when you age-in to Medicare. Investigate your choices carefully. If you are a union member or it you have retiree benefits be careful before you change to a Medicare plan. Often you can’t get back into the company plan once you leave. Additionally, your spouse and family’s coverage is an important consideration when you leave these plans to join Medicare.
Check with your with your company to see what their policy is for people who qualify for Medicare. Review your choices carefully. In 2005 the Center for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has established rules, which allow the practice of seamless conversion of members into individual, public exchange, or advantage plans. This practice sidesteps important choices you have when you are eligible to sign up for Medicare; like, whether to enroll in traditional Medicare or an Advantage plan. Know what your choices are and don’t let anyone make these decisions for you!
I welcome your comments and questions.