Recent Article in US News & World Report Recommends Shopping for New Medicare Plans

Emily Brandon’s recent article in US News & World Report entitled “6 Reasons to Choose a New Medicare Part D Plan” provides excellent insight into the real benefits of taking advantage of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period and the advantages of shopping around for the best coverage and costs to meet your personal healthcare needs.

The Open Enrollment Period is the time of year when individuals with Medicare are able to make important changes to their healthcare coverage. Open Enrollment runs from October 15th to December 7th, and provides seniors with the opportunity to adjust their coverage, add dental and prescription drug coverage, and lower their monthly premiums.

We believe every senior should take advantage of the Open Enrollment Period to compare your current Medicare healthcare coverage against other available plans.  That is why we founded SeniorQuote – to provide you with a trusted resource to comparison shop a wide-range of insurance carriers to find the coverage plan that best fits your budget. Our licensed agents are available to answer all of your questions and help you make the right decision for your family.

While we might set them in a different order, we essentially agree with the top reasons highlighted in Ms. Brandon’s article. A summary of the 6 Top Reasons to Choose a New Medicare Part D Plan follows:

(1)  Medication changes. Your medication needs could change throughout your retirement.

(2)  Find lower premiums. The average premium is expected to increase by 5 percent in 2014.

(3)  Seek lower copays and other cost sharing. Besides premiums, Medicare Part D beneficiaries face a variety of other out-of-pocket expenses, including deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and costs in the coverage gap.

(4)  Reduce your deductible. Just over half of prescription drug plans will charge a deductible in 2014.

(5)  Consider gap coverage. The Medicare Part D coverage gap begins once a retiree incurs $2,850 in prescription drug costs and ends after total drug costs hit $6,691 in 2014.

(6)  Ease of using your benefits. Prescription drug plans are increasingly creating preferred pharmacy networks, and charging retirees higher prices if they don’t fill their prescriptions at the preferred pharmacies.

Enjoy the US News & World Report article. And enjoy the saving money with SeniorQuote during the Open Enrollment Period. Link: http://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/2013/10/28/6-reasons-to-choose-a-new-medicare-part-d-plan?page=2

Are Dental and Vision Covered?

At SeniorQuote we know that healthcare means much more to seniors than just hospital visits and doctor’s offices.  A large amount of seniors also have dental and vision needs, as well.  It is one issue that we get questions about constantly.

Does Medicare Part A or B cover things like a dentist visit?  My prescription lenses?  Or an eye exam?  These are great questions and important to understand when considering your overall Medicare coverage.

Let’s start with dental coverage.  Simply put, if you have basic Medicare part A & B, you are not covered for dentist visits or benefits.  What falls under visits and benefits?  These are things that include checkups, cleanings, fillings, extractions, and dentures.  The only things that basic Medicare may cover are things that are applicable in a hospital setting.  If you would like to add dental benefits and coverage there are 2 ways to go about acquiring coverage;

1) Through an Advantage plan

2)  Through private insurance

Keep in mind that not all Advantage plans include dental coverage.  Additionally, there are many private insurance plans that bundle dental and vision coverage into one plan for seniors.

Vision coverage is similar to dental coverage.  Basic Medicare part A & B does not cover routine eye exams/ refraction, eyeglasses, or contacts.  Medicare does however cover things relating to eye disease.  Common eye diseases for seniors include glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.  Medicare will cover the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases and many others.  As with dental, there are Advantage plans that cover vision, as well.

We know that these are important aspects of complete healthcare and do not think they should go overlooked.  With open enrollment coming to an end soon, now is the time to look into Advantage plans for additional dental and vision coverage.  SeniorQuote knows the ins and outs of Medicare plans.  Give us a call and we can assist you in finding the plan that best fits your needs.

Helping You Help Loved Ones

At SeniorQuote we not only receive calls from seniors, but often have family members, spouses, and senior’s children call in asking for more information regarding Medicare and senior health options like supplements and advantage plans.  Because of this, we want to let everyone know that we also help those helping loved ones as well!

If you are looking for answers to questions for a senior you know, please give us a call.  One of our agents can walk you through the Medicare program, outlines, dates, and coverage.  Most people do not know what is covered through Medicare, what is not, and that you can get additional coverage for extra coverage, like prescription drugs.

This Open Enrollment period we took a call from Lizzie Trout, who was calling to get information about Medicare Supplements for her parents back in Michigan.  She was concerned that her parents, who were reluctant to reach out, were not getting the best coverage for their growing number of prescriptions.  We were able to give Lizzie information regarding Medicare Supplements that would actually cover more of their prescription drug costs and even introduced her to Medicare Advantage plans that also include prescription drug coverage.

After walking Lizzie through these different options, we encouraged her to have her talk with her parents and have them speak with one of our agents as well.  Later that week, her parents called, delighted by the news that they could get extra coverage and save money.  Our agent went through their options and ended up helping them save money every month while still getting the same prescription drugs they were already taking.

If you can relate to Lizzie, and would like to help a loved one be better covered, save money, or become more informed about Medicare options, please give us a call.  The best time to add or change coverage is Open Enrollment, which ends on December 7th.  Call us – 1.800.992.7724 .  We have great agents that can help.