How to choose the right Medicare plan

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OptumCare Network of Utah is part of the health services and innovation company Optum. They are a group of doctors, advanced care providers, specialists, and hospitals that work together to provide Medicare-eligible patients with personalized and collaborative medical care through healthcare offerings like the Optum Primary Care in Sandy.

This is the time of year they encourage people to take a good look at their health care coverage. Open Enrollment is a once-a-year opportunity for millions of Americans to pick a health plan or make changes to their current health care coverage so it’s important to know your Open Enrollment dates.

Open Enrollment isn’t the same or at the same time for everyone, so there are key dates to keep in mind depending on your situation. Medicare Open Enrollment or AEP (annual election period) runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 each year.

Each person or family has unique health and budget needs, especially in a time when the COVID-19 pandemic could be affecting the way that we approach our health and wellbeing. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting a health plan. For most people, if they don’t make an enrollment decision, they’ll be locked into their current plan for an entire year. If anything has changed this year, either with their current plan, health status, or budget, the decision to do nothing could lead to an unpleasant surprise or missed cost savings in 2021.  In addition, because of COVID-19 restrictions, using online resources, such as medicare.gov can make going online and comparing health plans a safe way to ensure you are maximizing your health care benefits for next year.

Medicare enrollment opened yesterday. What is Medicare AEP?

Medicare’s AEP (or annual election period) is a once-a-year opportunity for millions of Americans to pick a health plan or make changes to their current health care coverage. AEP begins on October 15 and ends on December 7 with health plans chosen during the period beginning on January 1, 2021. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries are free to select a new health plan. There are many options to choose from especially as the terms and cost of health plans can change from year-to-year. There is a lot of information about open enrollment out there, yet for many older adults, the process can be challenging.

There are several online resources, such as medicare.gov, that make it easy and safe to compare plans this year. If you have Medicare, you can go online and look at all of your plan choices. Even if you are happy with your current coverage, you may find a new prescription drug or Medicare Advantage Plan from private insurers that cost less and have more benefits. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical that older Americans participate in Open Enrollment. Talk to your doctor, use the tools at Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

What do you need to know about Medicare coverage?

There are several ways to get Medicare coverage. You can choose Original Medicare (Parts A and B). Part A is hospital coverage and Part B is medical coverage. Coverage is provided by the federal government.

You can also get benefits through a Medicare Advantage plan (called Part C). Medicare Advantage plans to combine Part A and Part B coverage. Many plans also include prescription drug coverage (called Part D) and offer additional benefits not covered by Original Medicare. These plans are offered by private insurance companies that are approved by Medicare.

There are also what’s known as Medicare supplement plans. These plans help cover some of what Medicare Parts A and B don’t pay, such as coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles.

What are the key aspects to consider when shopping for health care coverage?

When shopping for coverage, people should consider three important points: Choice, Care and Experience.

  1. Choice: When it comes to selecting a plan, one size does not fit all. Take the time to explore your options and make sure you understand the costs and benefits of each plan so you can find coverage that works best for you.
  2. Care: In addition to providing access to doctors and hospitals, you should search for a plan that offers benefits that are important to you.
  3. Experience: Your needs and approach to health and wellbeing may have shifted. It’s important to find a plan that offers benefits that will make the most sense for you. For example, you may need to find a plan that will include telehealth options or additional behavioral health services.

Health care is a concern for everyone ad people want to make the right decisions that work best for their needs. It’s important to not wait until the last minute. Start early and give yourself the time you need to make a decision that is right for you. To learn more visit OptumCare Network of Utah or call 1-866-637-5268.

This story contains sponsored content.

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