Medicare 2018

The Medicare Annual Election Period started on October 15th and runs through December 7th. Starting in January of 2019 you have an additional 90 days through March 31st to make MAPD changes to your current plan.

So what does all this mean to Nevadans? Not only do you have 90 additional days to make certain changes to your plans but for 2019 you now have 2 additional Medicare Advantage insurers. They are Select Health from Utah and Hometown Health from Reno, NV. They bring some exciting new plans for our area and that means more choice for Medicare-eligible recipients. There is also a new Doctor network called P3. They are doctors who have left Healthcare Partners to form a new group. Their services are offered through Select Health, Hometown Health and a secondary choice for Aetna MAPD clients.

That brings the choice of MAPD plans to 18, along with 26 separate drug plans and 10 Medicare Supplements. That’s a lot of choices. Where do you begin?

The first thing you should do is figure out what you want from Medicare? Is it choice of Doctors; flexibility in choice regardless of location; cost or are you not sure? There are so many options it is very difficult to decide?

Then find a reputable Medicare broker to guide you through the maze called Medicare. They will listen to your concerns, offer suggestions and guidance to the plan that works best for you. Consider cost, Doctors, flexibility in options, medications, and convenience of plan designs. Will it fit your needs today and in the future?

If you go the Medicare Advantage route you can assume you have the plan for the upcoming year. However, if you choose the wrong plan, you can change from 1/1/9-3/31/19 to another plan. Then you are locked in for the balance of the year. Plans change annually so your options are many.

If you choose the Medicare Supplement route, you are making a decision you will have to live with forever. (That is unless you can qualify medically when you want to change to another supplement). Most times people who buy a supplement either can afford the plans’ premiums or have medical issues and are left with no choice but to buy the supplement. That also means you have to pick a separate drug plan as supplements don’t include drugs. Sometimes Medicare recipients buy the supplement and later figure out they can’t afford it any longer. Then they can move to a Medicare Advantage plan which will save them premium dollars. This happens all the time so no worries; make the change that fits your needs.

Having said all this about Medicare one can draw a conclusion that there are too many choices available. That’s why a reputable Medicare broker is invaluable in guiding you to the best option for you. This is not a plug for Medicare brokers as it is an option that Medicare recipients should seriously consider to make sure they make the best choice for their healthcare.

The Barend Agency Inc.


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