(ABC4 Utah) Today we are talking to Shelly Martin, President of Optum about what makes Medicare so confusing for people and how they can help.

A couple years ago, Optum 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 plan can feel complicated, it doesn’t have to be.

Optum is here to help navigate the system and find a plan to meet peoples needs.

Here are a few things you should consider when you’re shopping for Medicare:

  • Check if your current coverage is still meeting your needs, and see if your benefits will change next year.
  • 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 individual’s efforts to live a healthy life.

If you still have additional questions, you can give Optum a call tomorrow and talk to a licensed insurance agent about Medicare and annual enrollment. They will have agents available until 7 PM.

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

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