Medicare Open Enrollment seminar

Lynne Barringer

On Wednesday, October 26, Robson Ranch residents attended an informative and timely seminar on Medicare given by Jackie Hixson. The 2017 Medicare coverage open enrollment is from October 15 to December 7, 2016. During the annual enrollment period you can switch from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage, or vice versa, from one Medicare Advantage Program to another or from one Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan to another. If you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you were first eligible, you can do so during the general open enrollment. A late enrollment penalty may apply.

Ms. Hixson explained that if you are currently enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and you don’t want to make changes to your 2017 coverage, you don’t need to do anything during open enrollment assuming your current plan is still available in 2017. Review your plans to assure you understand any applicable changes before locking in for another year. This enrollment period covers Part C Advantage Plans and Part D Prescription Plans. Medigap policies can be switched at any time and not changed during annual enrollment.

Original Medicare Coverage is Medicare Part A and Part B. Part A is hospital insurance and Part B covers where Part A leaves off, covering outpatient services of doctor visits, preventive medical services, etc. Advantage Part C allows enrollees to go beyond Original Medicare with managed care programs administered by private health insurers. Part D is prescription drug coverage. Medigap is Medicare supplemental insurance to help with Medicare expenses including copayments, deductibles and traveling out of the country. There are 10 plans identified by letters A through N. Although the price varies from one carrier to another within each letter, all plans offer the same benefits regardless of where you live or what insurance carrier you use.

Ms. Hixson described the differences between Advantage Plans and Medigap Plans, emphasizing that a Medigap Plan gives you more freedom to select your own doctors. When switching from an Advantage Plan to a Medigap Plan, health questions will be required to gain that coverage.

It was appreciated that Ms. Hixson let the audience know that Medicare medical coverage is good quality medical coverage for seniors at reasonable prices when compared to the alternatives available at this time.

For more information please contact [email protected] or view the website, Advanced registration for all seminars and workshops is required to arrange for sufficient seating and refreshments. Walk-ins may be turned away if seating is full.

All content within presentations sponsored by the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee is intended for general information only. It should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of a professional health care provider. Neither the Living Well at Robson Ranch Committee, Robson Ranch Denton HOA, nor Robson Communities is responsible or liable for the content and do not endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in any  presentation.