(ABC4 Utah) Dr. Chad Bittner, Chief Medical Officer, OptumCare joined Surae today to talk about Medicare enrollment and answer questions we all might have before time is up to enroll.

We all might have questions that we aren’t sure if we should be asking when enrolling in Medicare. When enrolling, you might think “I should know the answers to this.” or even “Being older means wiser, right?”

Wrong. As we’ve always been told, and hopefully continue to tell our children and grandchildren – “No question is a dumb question. Always ask.” For those of you who are still afraid to ask, we have a list of questions that are asked the most and the answers to them as well. Take a look, you might be surprised by some things or you might already know them and it’ll just prove you knew all the answers already.

  • What factors are important to consider when deciding on a plan?
    • Like many big decisions, it may be helpful to look at the value you are getting. One way to look at value is by evaluating the provider network you are choosing through a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • What is a provider network and how important is it when selecting a Medicare Advantage plan?
    • A doctor network, oftentimes referred to as a provider network, is a list of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers that a specific plan has contracted with to provide your care while on the plan.
    • Providers on this list are considered “in-network,” while providers not contracted with a plan are considered “out-of-network.”
  • Can you give us an example of how a provider network like Optum provides value to their patients?
    • At Optum, they have a vast network of more than 1,500 primary care doctors and more than 4,500 specialists locally for patients to choose from.
    • A health plan with the Optum network means your doctor has more support to help keep you healthy.
    • They are always working together with other doctors in the network to share successes, push new ideas, and find ways to help make care even better.
    • Much of the work that Optum does is a seamless part of the patient experience. But Optum will also communicate with patients to encourage them to take action to stay healthy and live their best lives. This can include things such as getting their annual wellness visits and preventive tests.
    • Having a connected network of experts means the patient gets the care that has been proven to work and that will help the patient save time and money, and reduce stress.

If you have questions that we have not been able to answer, visit their website.

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