Open Enrollment Clarified

As Medicare Open Enrollment approaches, there still seems to be lots of confusion surrounding whether or not this traditional open enrollment period is integrated into ACA (Obamacare) open enrollment.  The short answer is no.  While both open enrollment periods overlap each other, adding to the confusion, they are separate programs and will remain separate enrollment events.

If you are 65+ or about to be 65, your Medicare will remain unaffected by ACA(Obamacare).  You still get basic parts A and B, and still get to change/add additional coverage from private insurers during the Medicare Open Enrollment period.  This period was and is still designed to let seniors add additional coverage, while keeping them from purchasing insurance only when their health declines.  It is essentially a way for insurance providers and insurance holders to “play” fairly and not take advantage of the system.  This period is highly regulated and also protects seniors against uncertified, unlicensed, and unethical insurance practices and companies.  The Medicare Open Enrollment period begins Oct 15th and runs through Dec 7th.

The ACA(Obamacare) Open Enrollment period is different, and is for individuals that are not currently insured or looking to change insurance plans.  These people are UNDER 65 and NOT enrolled in Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.  If you are a senior reading this or are taking care of a senior, make sure you note this difference or consult with a Medicare specialist if you are still confused.  The Open Enrollment Period for ACA(Obamacare) is October 1st through March 31st.

If you need help during the Open Enrollment period adding or changing additional coverage like Medicare Supplements, Medicare Advantage plans, or Medigap plans, please give us a call.  We not only provide information about different plans, but provide quotes from all of the major carriers as well.  Call 1-888-278-5126 to speak with a SeniorQuote representative today.

Medicare Competitive Bidding

If this is your first time learning about Medicare competitive bidding, you are not alone.  Part of the reason why you may have never heard of the term is because it was part of an old piece of legislation called the Medicare Modernization Act, signed into law by President Bush in 2003.  It was finally implemented in 2011, and is aimed at “weeding out multiple companies selling the same products at higher prices, even though such products were not necessarily better.

There is little impact for seniors receiving Medicare.  The bill’s biggest effect has been on ironing out wasteful spending in government, saving more than $400 million in the first two years, across nine regions, alone.  Further savings are expected as the bill is implemented in 90 additional areas this year.

While the aim has been to make companies offering medical equipment to the government for Medicare more competitive, some have worried that the quality of equipment would decline in tandem with the prices.  So far, the opposite has happened, and the quality of medical equipment being provided to the government has actually remained the same.

Keep up-to-date with news on your Medicare and what it means for your individual plan.  SeniorQuote is always available to assist you.

Call us for a quote or for more information at (888) 278-5126

We are here to help.

“Navigators” in Healthcare:

Healthcare, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare have become constant topics in news.  With so much being said, changed, and analyzed, it can be hard to keep up with actual changes to state and federal programs.  As a result of increased confusion, you may have heard the term “navigators” in the media recently,

If your head is spinning trying to keep up with the newest Medicare and healthcare policies you are not alone.  The navigators are here to help.  State and federal government officials realize that people are confused about the details of Medicare, Obamacare, and the changing healthcare landscape, and they are trying to implement a network of trained and experienced people known as the Navigators to assist average Americans and seniors.  Think of navigators as your personal Medicare assistants, who can walk you through the details for everything related to healthcare; from signing up for benefits to explaining the intricacies of adding supplemental plans.

While the navigator program offers promising improvements to the current healthcare system, the qualifications and experience level of each of the navigators may not be equal.   According to the Wall Street Journal, the concern for industry experts, consumer advocacy groups and government officials is that the requirements for becoming a navigator may not be stringent enough.  The thought of under qualified people advising Americans about something as important as their health is a very real concern and the greatest hurdle confronting the navigator program.

Currently 34 states are letting the federal government run their healthcare exchanges, and will allow them to dictate the qualifications of the navigators who operate in their state.  It appears that the federal government is committed to the navigator program, leaving the individual states with legitimate concerns For example, if you reside in one of the 16 states, who operate their own exchanges, like California, you may not have a navigator program available to you, as those states will not be required to implement a navigator program, unless they choose to.

The navigator program could be a great step towards simplified healthcare and its’ progress will continued to be monitored throughout the industry.

If you have questions about your personal healthcare, insurance coverage, or Medicare, you can contact the Medicare experts directly at SeniorQuote by calling 888-278-5126.