gmhTODAY 10 gmhToday Sept Oct 2016 - Page 49

P lans will start revealing their changes and new plans as early as October 1st. Be on the lookout for what changes your plan will have. This comes in the form of a letter called: MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT COMING SOON October 15th - December 7th Plan Annual Notice of Change (ANOC letter) The ANOC includes any changes in coverage, costs, or service area that will be effective in January. Review any changes to decide whether the plan will continue to meet your needs in the next year. If you don’t get this important document, contact your plan. If your medication or health needs have changed through the year, you might fi nd that the current plan you’re on isn’t meeting your needs. This would be the time to change that plan. If you feel overwhelmed by the choices available or even how to decide which plan to move to, it’s best to seek out an Independent Agent who can help you determine which plan is best suited for your needs. There is no cost to you to use an agent. You can also follow the same tips below for a person turning 65, on how to determine what plan is right for you. Turning 65? Welcome to Medicare! By Michele Campbell, Independent Agent Michele has been in the insurance business for over 25 years and specializes in Medicare, individual health and life insurance. She is passionate about helping her clients to find the right plan to fit their needs. She is an active member of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce, Gilroy Rotary and Gilroy Leadership Class of 2015. Visit or call 408.848.2271. How do you know which Medicare plan to choose? • Medicare Supplement plan • Medicare Advantage plan • Part D plan Choosing a plan can be a daunting process when you start reading all the material that’s out there. It is complex and if you make the wrong choice, you have to live with it for the remainder of that calendar year, in most cases. Medicare is confusing at fi rst, but once you understand the basics, it’s easier to understand as you use it. If you need help with learning about Medicare, an Agent is one of the best ways to understand how it all works. If you want to do some of your own research, here are some things to consider when choosing a plan: 1 2 3 4 Tips For Choosing A Medicare Plan At 65 you can enroll in Medicare for the fi rst time. Your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) starts three months before your 65 th birthday, includes your birth month and ends three months after your 65 th birthday. You have a total of 7 months to enroll in Medicare. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 5 6 Research which plans are available in your area? • Check out the website or use the current “Medicare and You” Handbook. • What is the Star Rating for the plan? Do you need a separate drug plan (Part D) or is it included in your plan (Ad vantage plan)? • Are your prescribed medications covered under the plan? • What pharmacies can you use or who are the preferred pharmacies? • Do they offer mail order service? What are your out of pocket costs? • Premiums, deductibles, co-pays? • Hospital costs? • Diagnostic testing? • What is your maximum out-of-pocket cost? Does your doctor(s) or hospital accept that plan? • Do they take Medicare? • Are they in network? • Do you need a referral to see a specialist? How well does the plan cover other needs? • Vision coverage? • Dental coverage? • Transportation? Does the plan provide coverage when you’re out of the country? 49