Choosing a Medicare plan is one of the most important decisions a person can make

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Today at ABC4 Utah we are hosting a Medicare Hotline sponsored by OptumCare Utah, where experts will answer your questions about Medicare during this Special Enrollment Period and today we have Shelly Martin, President of OptumCare joining us to discuss what the Special Enrollment Period is and why it is so important.

Choosing a Medicare plan is one of the most important decisions a person can make, not only for their wellbeing but also for their wallet.

For most people, the special enrollment period is that time outside the yearly annual enrollment period when you can sign up for Medicare or make changes to your current Medicare or Medicare advantage plan.

Many people qualify for the Medicare Special Enrollment period if they’ve had certain life events, such as turning 65, are new to the area, or they’re over 65 and recently lost their job, plus more. Our team of Medicare experts will be on hand to help the ABC4 audience know if they’re eligible.

Many people qualify for the Medicare Special Enrollment period if they’ve had certain life events, such as turning 65, are new to the area, or they’re over 65 and recently lost their job, plus more. Our team of Medicare experts will be on hand to help your audience know if they’re eligible.

There is no one size fits all approach when shopping for coverage, so it’s important that individuals are aware of the options available to them and what different Medicare plans can offer.

A couple of years ago, we conducted a survey to gauge general understanding of Medicare and found that almost 40 percent of beneficiaries found the program confusing, so folks who are feeling lost are definitely not alone. While choosing a Medicare plan can feel complicated, it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help you navigate the system and find a plan to meet your needs.

To make shopping for Medicare coverage easier, consider the following:

  • Determine if the plan is a good fit for your budget. Pay attention to more than just a monthly premium. You should also understand the other out-of-pocket costs, including the deductible, copays, and coinsurance.
  • Make sure your medications are covered. Even if you don’t expect to change plans, it’s important to make sure your drugs will still be covered next year. Remember, costs can change from year to year as well.
  • Confirm your preferred doctors and hospitals are available through the plan you’re considering.
  • Don’t forget about dental, vision, and other additional benefits. For people on Medicare, many are surprised to find that Original Medicare doesn’t cover prescription drugs and most dental, vision, and hearing services. However, many Medicare Advantage plans do.
  • Take advantage of wellness programs. Many people are surprised to learn that their plan offers benefits, programs, and resources, such as a gym membership at no additional cost. This can support an individual’s efforts to live a healthy life.

What makes a Medicare Advantage plan appealing to so many people is that it offers value and simplicity.  In addition, a Medicare Advantage plan may include some of the following.  Check with the plan to get additional information. 

  • It may provide the convenience of combining all of your coverage into one plan so you only have one card to carry in your wallet and one company to work with.
  • There may be additional benefits and services that Original Medicare doesn’t cover (vision, hearing, dental, gym memberships, disease management programs, mental health professionals, etc.)
  • It may include transitions of care – extra services and support after a move from a hospital or nursing facility to home.
  • Prescription drug coverage – included with most plans
  • Unlike Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans have a maximum out-of-pocket limit so you know that even if something unexpected happens, your costs are capped.

You can give us a call right now! The hotline will be open between 11 am and 7 pm if you have general questions about Medicare and the special enrollment period.

Calling (801) 975-4400 will direct you to a licensed insurance agent.

If you are interested in learning about all of the plans available in your area or have questions about Medicare in general, visit their website or call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY 1-877-486-2048; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

This story contains sponsored content.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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