It’s That Time Of Year Again

It’s that time of the year again for Medicare beneficiaries; it’s called the Annual Election Period (AEP) which runs between October 15, 2013 – December 7, 2013. This is the time of the year that Medicare beneficiaries can pick a plan even if they never had one before and/or change either their Medicare Advantage Plans or prescription drug plans. If you skipped getting prescription drug coverage when you were first eligible for Medicare and didn’t have other credible coverage, you may have a penalty added to your premium. You would still be able to enroll in a plan during the AEP and honestly, you should. The penalty will increase as more time goes by without prescription drug coverage.

A question that often comes up is why this is done each year. Every year, private insurance companies must have their plans approved by Medicare to offer them to Medicare beneficiaries. Medicare defines the minimum benefit all insurance carriers must offer, however some plans can offer more benefits. Some of these benefits include more coverage in the coverage gap, no deductible, and lower co-pays.

It is also very likely that your needs change through the years. For instance, each prescription drug plan has a drug formulary. A drug formulary is simply a list of medications that the drug plan covers. Because these formularies can change each year, it is important to make sure that the plan you choose covers the drugs you use.

Plans can also make changes to the premium and co-pays. You will want to make sure that you know what to expect through the year for not only your prescriptions, but also your healthcare. Plans can also offer mail order for prescriptions which can be a huge savings annually.

Balanced Care knows that change can be difficult. For this reason, we highly encourage friends and family members to sit with you to discuss plans you are considering. Balanced Care knows the importance of your health and is committed to making sure plans are understood before making any changes. The Annual Election period will run until December 7th, 2013 so it is important to start looking at your options as soon as possible. You can see all available choices at www.medicare.gov and/or give us a call to determine the best choice for you today.

512803HC_FullTerri Trepanier is the owner of Balanced Care Health and Supplemental Insurance and a licensed insurance consultant and broker with Associated Brokers.    Licensed in both Maine and NH,  her specialty is working with small businesses, individuals, and families with their health and life insurance needs.  She is certified to offer health plans both on and off the exchange and is contracted with every health insurance company that offers plans in both New Hampshire and Maine.  Her other passion is assisting Medicare beneficiaries with their Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Advantage plans. Terri has seen firsthand the importance of insurance products and how they help families.  Her goal with Balanced Care is to “Insure Security and Peace of Mind One Family at a Time”.

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