Medicare for Tomorrow

Published on September 11, 2020

Getting Ready for Medicare 2021

Givens Estates partners with the Council on Aging of Buncombe County to provide information to residents regarding the Annual Election for Medicare. John Wingerter, Director of Development and Strategic Partnerships, shares his thoughts and important recommendations for seniors prior to the Annual Election. 

It won’t be long before leaves will start to turn bright colors, pumpkins will start appearing on bulletin boards & table centerpieces and a deluge of colorful mail from insurance companies will fill our mailboxes.  Oh…the wonderful feel of fall!  “Wait a minute!  We can do without the advertisements from the insurance companies!”

 

Confused by all of the advertisements from the health insurance companies?  You are not alone but there are some things you can do so it is not so stressful and to get ready for the Annual Election of Medicare.

 

The Annual Election for Medicare begins October 15th and runs through December 7th.  During this time, you can make changes to your prescription drug plan, change Medicare Advantage plans or simply do nothing (not recommended). The following are suggestions for making the annual election easier and more productive.

 

1. The Council on Aging will be working with Givens Estates to do a presentation on Medicare for 2021.  Watch for information regarding this presentation since we will discuss the changes for next year including deductibles, premiums, benefit changes and more.

 

2. Plan on reviewing your prescription drug coverage for next year. Some seniors have saved thousands of dollars by changing plans as drug plan formularies, premiums, coinsurance and deductibles may change.  Prescription drug coverage should be reviewed every year. You may or may not want or need to change plans.

 

3. If you are on a Medicare Advantage plan, you should your review your plan also, since the prescription drug coverage under that plan may change resulting in higher out of pocket cost.

 

4. Folks on original Medicare generally do not change their Medicare supplements (Medigap) policies at this time but you may want to review the coverage and the rates you are paying. You may have to complete a health statement if you want to change and insurance companies can turn you down if you have health conditions. BEWARE OF INSURANCE COMPANY OFFERINGS WITH VERY LOW RATES.  DO NOT CANCEL YOUR SUPPLEMENT UNTIL YOU HAVE A NEW POLICY APPROVED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY IN WRITING. 

 

5. Watch for information from Social Security, Medicare and your current drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan in the mail.  OPEN their envelope and read what they have to say.  Many folks throw away everything that looks like an advertisement and sometimes they toss important information.

6.  Beware of phone calls from marketing people trying to sell you new or additional insurance coverage. 

7. NEVER GIVE OUT YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY OR MEDICARE NUMBER OVER THE PHONE TO A MARKETING PERSON OR SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW OR TRUST, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE TRYING TO SELL YOU A POLICY.

We hope this information is helpful and we look forward to seeing many of you in the fall during the Medicare Annual Election period.  In the meantime, STAY SAFE!

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