Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
Health & Wellness

Medicare Annual Election Period Deadline is December 7th – Make Your Changes Now

The Medicare System offers beneficiaries many choices, and along with those choices are deadlines and changes in plans year after year. It is important to stay informed so that you can avoid costly mistakes and make the right choice for your current situation.

During the Annual Election Period you can change prescription drug plans, change Medicare Advantage plans, return to original Medicare, or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan for the first time.  Enrollment changes take effect on January 1.

Even if you are happy with this year’s coverage you should research new options because insurance plans change their premiums, co-pays, drug coverage and deductibles from year to year.  For example, if the cost of just a few of your medications changes your out of pocket spending could go up or down by several thousand dollars. Other plans might offer you a more competitive package this year.

There are many things to consider when you evaluate individual plans and The Association of Mature American Citizens is here to help.

To speak with a licensed representative contact AMAC at 1-800-334-9330.
You can also use our Quick Quote Form to get started.

Become a memberDon’t miss out on all the benefits and offers you get for becoming an AMAC member.

 

Medicare Handy Reference Guide

When Can I Join a Medicare Advantage Plan?

INITIAL ELECTION PERIOD

You can join when you first become eligible at age 65. There is a 7 month window when you can join during your initial election period. The initial election period is 3 months before you turn 65, the month you turn 65 and 3 months after the month you turn age 65. For those over 65 who are still  working and receiving  health benefits  from  an employer, your initial election period will begin when you enroll in Part B.

ANNUAL ELECTION PERIOD (AEP)

Enrollment in 2011 is October 15th – December 7th. During this period beneficiaries can add, drop, or change coverage.

Review My Changes Now

DISENROLLMENT PERIOD

The disenrollment period is 1/1/12 – 2/14/12. If you are dissatisfied with your health care plan, a beneficiary may drop a Medicare Advantage Plan and return to Original Medicare with the option of enrolling into a stand-alone PDP.

SPECIAL ELECTION PERIOD

Beneficiaries may be eligible to enroll in a new plan during a Special Election Period. There are eligibility requirements such as change in residence, or a loss of coverage through an employer or Union Group Health Plan. In most  cases, you  must  stay  enrolled for  that calendar year starting the date your coverage begins, except for certain situations such as moving out of your plan’s service area or if you qualify for “extra help.”

Medicare Supplements / Medigap Plans

These plans provide coverage for medical expenses not covered or only partially covered by Medicare. Medigap’s name is derived from the notion that it exists to cover the difference or “gap” between the expenses reimbursed by Medicare and the total amount charged. Over the years new laws have brought many changes to Medigap Policies. For example, marketing for plans E, H, I and J have been stopped as of May 31, 2010. But, if you were already covered by plan E, H, I or J before June 1, 2010, you can keep that plan. Medigap plans M and N took effect on June 1, 2010, bringing the number of offered plans down to ten from twelve. Beneficiaries can enroll in a Medicare Supplement at any time. However, after the age of 67, you may be subject to the plan’s underwriting guidelines.

To speak with a licensed representative contact AMAC at 1-800-334-9330.
You can also use our Quick Quote Form to get started.

Become a memberDon’t miss out on all the benefits and offers you get for becoming an AMAC member.

 

Part D Drug Coverage

Prescription Drug Plans come with deductibles and co-payments. Once your total cost of drugs used since the start of the year reaches $2,840 in 2011, or $2,930 in 2012 you are in a gap known as the donut hole. While in the donut hole, most plans will offer a 50% discount on brand name drugs from the manufacturers. When your out-of-pocket costs (the amount you spend while in the donut hole PLUS the deductibles  and  co-pays  you spent before you reached the donut hole gap) reaches $4,550 in 2011, or $4700 in 2012 your prescription drug coverage resumes and you pay no more than 5% of the cost of drugs until the end of the year. This cycle starts over each year.

Conclusion

 For those eligible for Medicare, you must choose one of two paths: the traditional “original” Medicare plan, or a federally subsidized Medicare Advantage Plan. Many who do opt for the traditional Medicare also purchase a “Medigap” policy and a separate prescription drug policy (Part D) to patch the holes in their coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans give you the option of receiving Medicare benefits through a private health plan. Under most circumstances, Medicare Advantage Plans will save you money while increasing your coverage.

When shopping for a plan, it is important to compare premiums, co-payments and deductibles. Take a look at how much you’d have to contribute toward services such as hospital stays and skilled nursing care. Does the Medicare Advantage Plan provide extra coverage you want that Original Medicare doesn’t cover? Be sure to talk to your benefits administrator to see how your other coverage or health insurance works with Medicare.

To speak with a licensed representative and find out more about original Medicare and Medicare Advantage Plans, contact AMAC at 888-262-2006. The Association of Mature American Citizens is here to help.

To speak with a licensed representative contact AMAC at 1-800-334-9330.
You can also use our Quick Quote Form to get started.

Become a memberDon’t miss out on all the benefits and offers you get for becoming an AMAC member.

 

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Sign Up Today

47
Leave a Reply

27 Comment threads
20 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
44 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Debbie

I was told I had insurance then bam all in one day received a letter saying I was denied. So I called and to no avail still waiting for someone to call. I was promised a call, booklets, and none of the above have been done…… All a bunch of lies… And I even called before the deadline dates…..

Ed Stoddard

What kind of rag-tag organization sends out an information newsletter containing information from last year?

The same kind of organization that was happy to take my money for a 2-year membership, but too stingy (or too disorganized) to send me a membership card so I can use the benefits of membership.

I don’t trust these guys any more than AARP (which I don’t trust at all).

I see no benefit to membership & will not renew …

WALLACE lONDON

I recently have been put on lots of diabetic medications. i missed the prescription enrollment period. is there some source for insurance to help me cover the monthly prescription billing??????

Gordon Henley

My question is whether I can replace my Medigap plan with another, to reduce my cost and, especially, to get away from AARP. I can’t get a clear answer from Medicare’s website, even after two email responses from their support people. Best I can tell is that the “open enrollment” period, which closes TODAY, doesn’t apply to current Medigap subscribers, meaning no guaranteed issue rights, and that in order to switch I need to find an insurance company that will take me. Also, Medicare is still playing their Open Enrollment radio commercial which says we can switch to a less expensive plan???

joan

Advantage plans aren’t for everyone. They are HMO and many Drs. in our area including mine won’t except them.
They tried to assign me a Dr. but I dropped them. I sure don’t want a new Dr. at this stage of my life.

Nancy Cooney

What happens to the 25% of Medicare recipients who have Advantage plans when Obamacare goes into full effect? I understand they have eliminated the Advantage plans, which leaves us nowhere. It is impossible for Medicare recipients to find a doctor in private practice. I tried primary care physicians who were taking new patients (eight of them) in my area, and not one would take new Medicare patients. Doctors cannot be forced to take patients, nor would I want such a thing, although I fully expect th administration and his supporters in Congress to try to force everyone to do whatever. We have already lost medical professionals because of Obamacare. I’m wondering if eliminating Advantage plans is one of the first steps in eliminating old people. I have heard that illegal immigrants will get the 500 billion dollars saved by eliminating the Advantage plans. A nurse who called Mark Levin today… Read more »

bIL;L GUILFOIL

HAVE MEDICARE NLUE SHIELD AND BLUE CROSS THE POLICY FOR F WAS LIKE 118? AMDF MOW NEXT MONTH JANUARY GOES UP TO 366 AND MY D IS LIKE A 100 DOOLARS A MONTH NEED F FROM ANOTHER COMPANY BUT CAN YOU JUST RANSFER WITHOUT ALL THE PAPER QWORK AND HEALTH EXAM SOME ARE LIKE 128 DOLLARS UNDER WIITH A TOP INSURANCE COMAPNY THINGS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE OUT OF CONTROL bILL g

Marsha

I dropped my membership with AARP because of Obamacare and the large profits made selling insurance products.
I will not renew my membership with AMAC because they are selling insurance products, too.

Terry Hoffman

I’d just like them to quit forcing me to have it. I am a disabled veteran with an inability to work. The VA hospital system cannot bill medicare so I have no use for it but they still deduct it from my disability (social security) payments.

Muriel

I am a Veteran (69 year- old) and have been getting my medical care through the VA for the past 11 years. I also have Medicare A & B. I get my drugs through the VA for $9.00 per month for each perscription. I get optical through the VA as well. So far I have not required Medicare Part C.

My question is: Do I need an insurance policy to cover the Medicare C area? And do you have a dental plan? Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have not applied for a Medicare Advantage Plan since I have been eligible for Medicare (just praying nothing medically arises that I can’t pay for as I go).

Cathy

We have been in Medicare Advantage plans for several years, and we really like them. They are all inclusive, and we do not have to fool with a supplemental plan that covers the 20% that the original Medicare doesn’t pay. We are currently looking at a Blue Cross plan in PA where we live with a very low monthly premium; however, it doesn’t cover any dental as our previous plan did. Is there a dental plan available that we could purchase to pick up some of the costs for routine work? I tried accessing your dental information, but the website wasn’t available. As to AARP, we dropped our membership when they supported Obamacare. I also read a great article in Bloomburg News that describes how they make money off the products they sell. They cited two examples of seniors in the article: one purchasing health insurance and the other automobile… Read more »

harold douglas

I’m a member of AMAC and I am 62 years old and on disability. How do I get medical insurance?

Sharon

I don’t know what to do about this whole health care thing. I have AARP with Secure Horizons and Prescription Solutions, and I have always been very pleased with both, I’ve heard that AARP “sold out to Obamacare.” If this is true, I want to change my healthcare. I don’t know who to ask about this. Do you have any suggestions?

Pedro Martin

I have Medicare A & B but I need a plan to cover the 20% that Medicare does not cover.
I would like this plan to include payments for prescription drug co-pays and doctor visit co-pays.
I live in Dutchess County.

Pedro Martin

I have Medicare A & B but I need a plan to cover the 20% that Medicare does not cover.
I would also like this plan to cover prescription drugs co-pays & doctor visit co-pays.
I live in Dutchess County, New York.

Ron Carpenter

I get very good health insurance through United Healthcare and am a member of AARP. I want to dump AARP but do not want to jeopardize my rates and coverage. What does AMAC endorse for similar coverage?

Cynthia Anderson

I would like information as to any midigap or advantage plans you are connected with as well as the Part D prescription coverage.

John Hudgins

I am 65 and am still working with a medical co-pay plan at work through Anthem. I am also a 26-year retired military. When I turned 65 I signed up for Medicare part A. Should I obtain a policy(s) under part B?

Sally Indgjer

I have First Health Part D from Coventry Health Care for my Part D Prescription Coverage. I would like to change my plan. I have my supplemental coverage through AMAC with Mutual of Omaha. Could you please tell me if I can get less expensive coverage thought AMAC? What company do you deal with? Could you please give me the name of that company and the costs involved? Thank you.

Gene

Amen to that Joe