National Medicare Education Week

medicareConfused about Medicare? You are not alone.

In fact, you’ve got lots of company. According to the Medicare Made Clear Index, a 2013 survey of 1,000 older adults, 1 in 5 Medicare beneficiaries described Medicare as confusing, and most could not correctly identify what Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover.

That’s one of the main reasons UnitedHealthcare created National Medicare Education Week. We’re committed to making Medicare easier to understand for the more than 51 million people who are currently enrolled as well as those who will be enrolling in the years ahead. And there are a lot of them out there.

Every day, about 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare.1 That’s one every eight seconds. As the Medicare population grows, the number of people in need of clear, easy-to-understand information about the program grows as well. National Medicare Education Week is one way we’re helping to meet this need.

 

Use these tools to help guide and support your Medicare education experience.

Medicare Education Checklist

 

Learning about Medicare shouldn’t be limited to just one week of the year. Taking the time to review your coverage options and stay informed about Medicare may help you feel better prepared to enroll in Medicare for the first time or make confident health care decisions during Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15-Dec. 7). Use this checklist to help you learn more about Medicare.

 

Start with the Basics: Mastering the basics of the Medicare program may help you feel prepared to find the coverage that’s right for you. Check out the Learn about Medicare page, watch the Medicare Overview video or get familiar with some terms in the Glossary.
Ask the Right Questions: Medicare isn’t one-size-fits-all. You have lots of options as you’re deciding which coverage is right for you. But those options can sometimes feel overwhelming. Make it easier by asking yourself some key questions that will help you determine your needs .
Prepare: Be ready to make decisions about your coverage options during Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15-Dec. 7). Visit the Coverage Examples page to see how four Medicare beneficiaries chose their plans. Or watch the videos about Medicare Parts A, B, C and D as well as Medicare supplement insurance.
— This information is provided by Medicare Made Clear
http://LitchfieldInsurance.com – Medicare Questions?  We are here to help. Call our offices at 909-792-3300

Have You Reviewed Your 2014 Medicare Coverage?

Medicare Coverage ReviewBusinesses often spend the first quarter of the year (January through March) planning for a successful year. How about spending some time reviewing your 2014 Medicare coverage? What you learn and the actions you take may have a big effect on both your health and your pocketbook in the coming year.

Here are a few things you can do.

1. Take note of changes in your plan.

You may have changed plans during Medicare Open Enrollment last fall. Even if you kept your 2013 elections in 2014, plans can change from year to year. So it’s a good idea to go through all of your 2014 plan materials to see what may be new for this year.

2. Get the most out of your coverage.

As you probably know, Medicare coverage isn’t free for most of us. Shouldn’t you be getting all you can out of the coverage you’re paying for?

One area in which you might be able to get more out of your coverage is preventive care. A good first step is to make an appointment with your doctor for a “Welcome to Medicare” visit (if you’re new to Part B in the past year) or Annual Wellness Visit (after the first year of having Part B). Together you can discuss screenings, preventive care, treatment options and medications that best meet your health care needs and fall within your Medicare plan coverage. By taking a proactive approach, you can help ensure that you’re getting the most from your coverage. Best of all, these visits are covered by Medicare with no cost to you; the Part B deductible doesn’t apply.

Medicare Part B covers a wide range of preventive screenings and services, from mammograms and prostate cancer screenings to nutrition therapy services. These often change in a new calendar year, so it pays to review what’s available. And remember that both the Annual Wellness Visit and preventive screenings are covered if you have a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, too.

3. Look for ways to save money.

If you have a Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plan, take a look in your 2014 materials or on your plan website. You may find a cost-saving program that’s new this year, or one you simply overlooked in a previous plan year.

For example, it’s always worth checking to see whether you might save money on your prescription drug costs. Your insurance company may offer you a discount on your co-pays if you get your prescriptions filled at certain pharmacies. Or they may offer you lower costs if you order maintenance medications through a certain mail-order pharmacy. And it’s never a bad idea to look over your plan’s 2014 formulary (list of covered drugs) with your doctor, to see whether there’s a medication you take that could be replaced by a lower-cost option.

Knowledge is power.

Knowing all you can about your Medicare coverage can help empower you to meet your health care and cost goals for 2014. And one added bonus is that when it comes time to choose a 2015 plan (or plans) during Medicare Open Enrollment in the fall, you’ll be ready to review your choices.

–This information was provided by Medicare Made Clear

For more information visit GeorgeLitchfield.com or call our offices at (909) 792-3300