Two Weeks until Open Enrollment

Two Weeks until Open Enrollment

The Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare (AEP) begins on October 15th! This period is crucial and exceedingly important for seniors who are either applying for Medicare or who would like to change their current healthcare coverage for 2020. If you have not been able to research or study your current benefits to competing plans, now is the time to do so. OEP is until December 7th! You only have a few weeks to decide what coverage is best suited for your needs. Remember the decisions you make in the upcoming weeks will dictate your health and financial future for 2020! This is a call to action! Dedicate the time you have left to learn about the different aspects of Medicare if you have not done so already. For those who do not have the time to analyze and compare different coverage, count on Murray Insurance Agency to aid you during this process. They have been serving Florida for over 30...
Read More
Social Security Errors!

Social Security Errors!

If you or a loved one have received bills for as many as five months of premiums, do not toss that bill away! According to the Social Security Administration, “Due to a processing error in January, some Medicare Advantage and Part D beneficiaries' requests to have premiums withheld from their Social Security benefit checks did not go through.” This means that the premiums you thought you had paid for these past few months are actually still due. These errors may cost you a cancellation in your Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare Part D drug prescription plans. Once these plans are cancelled, it will be difficult to have them reinstated and you will still owe the past-due premiums (if the plans are reactivated). It might take months to realize if you have been affected if you are not aware already (if you have been affected you will receive a bill in the mail). Instead of waiting for a past-due bill, be...
Read More
One More Medicare Minute – Medicare Part D, the “Donut Hole” and Getting Help

One More Medicare Minute – Medicare Part D, the “Donut Hole” and Getting Help

During the month of August, we have tried to cover the subject of Medicare in little bite-sized bits. One at a time, we went over the Parts of Medicare, Original Medicare and Advantage Plans (also called “Part C”). Today’s Medicare Minute covers Part D, the prescription drug coverage plans available. At first glance, seniors might think this is a straight-forward subject, but it is not! For many seniors, Part D is the cause of confusion, worry and expense, sometimes considerable expense. There are hundreds of Medicare Part D plans, each with its own formulary (a list of covered drugs), copays, deductibles and “tiers” of coverage. In addition, Part D still includes the famous coverage gap or “donut hole” you have probably heard about. Here is the good news, any one of several OurSeniors.net Family Partners or Approved Vendors can be a great help in choosing the best Part D plan for your situation. As you will see, this can vary widely from...
Read More
A Medicare Minute – Original Medicare (Parts A and B)

A Medicare Minute – Original Medicare (Parts A and B)

Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C of Medicare) have grown substantially over the past decade. In 2018, 34% of Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans. However, “Original Medicare” remains the choice of more than two thirds of all Medicare recipients.  In fact, Original Medicare is the default plan, if you don’t choose another option. There could be several reasons for the continued popularity of Original Medicare; many people just do not want to invest the time and effort needed to choose an Advantage Plan, while others do not wish to be locked into a network of providers as required by many of those plans.  Whatever the reason, it is likely that most of the seniors who read this article will be covered by Medicare Part A for hospitalization and Part B for outpatient services like doctors’ fees, lab costs, etc. If you are covered by Original Medicare, by default or intentional choice, there are several important points that you should keep...
Read More
A Medicare Minute, “The Parts of Medicare”

A Medicare Minute, “The Parts of Medicare”

Sometimes it pays to review basic information. This is certainly true when it comes to Medicare; a survey conducted by the Medicare administration revealed that a majority of seniors could not name or describe the four parts of the Medicare system. This is information that every senior should have at hand, especially when signing up as a new Medicare beneficiary or during the annual open enrollment period. You must understand your Medicare choices and pick your coverage carefully; how you do so will determine your benefits, who you get them from, and it can affect your out-of-pocket costs. Medicare has four major elements, Parts A, B, C and D. The first two (A and B) are often called “Original Medicare.” This is the most basic coverage you can obtain. Part C and Part D are available through private health insurance plans. They enhance your coverage if you want more than Original Medicare offers. This situation is sometimes confusing because Part C...
Read More
A Medicare Minute – “Five-Star” Medicare Plans

A Medicare Minute – “Five-Star” Medicare Plans

Did you know that Medicare gives ratings to some of its plans? This is not true of all Medicare Parts; only Part C, Medicare Advantage Plans, are rated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The CMS compiles the data and sets the standards for the rating system. Some of the rating factors include: Overall quality of care for the customers. Members’ experience with the plan. How many people have left the plan over the previous year. How often members had issues with the plan. How accurate the pricing has been. The CMS uses a star rating system to rank Advantage Plans. A plan may rank from one star (the lowest) to five stars, the best ranking available as judged by the CMS criteria. There are two time periods in which you can enroll in a five-star plan: the Annual Election Period and the five-star Special Election Period. The Annual Election Period is the one with which most people are familiar....
Read More
A Medicare Minute from OurSeniors.net

A Medicare Minute from OurSeniors.net

Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) vs. Medicare Plan C (a Medigap Option) The Medicare terms “Part C” and “Plan C” sound enough alike to be the source of misunderstanding. If you are uncertain about the meanings of “Part C” and “Plan C,” here is a quick reference: Part C is a Medicare Advantage Plan (MA). Medicare Advantage plans are comprehensive plans that provide all your Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance) coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans may offer extra coverage, such as vision, hearing, dental, and/or health and wellness programs. Most include Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). Plan C is one of the ten standardized Medigap plans offered in most states. These plans are designed to fill in the gaps between approved Medicare costs and the 80% of those costs that Medicare Part B pays. Medigap insurance Plan C is one of the most comprehensive of the 10 standardized Medigap insurance plans available. Only Medigap Plan F offers...
Read More
Another Medicare Moment

Another Medicare Moment

Are you planning to travel outside the U.S. this summer? Remember that, except in rare cases, Medicare does not cover health care services outside the United States. There are several ways you can get health coverage outside the U.S. If you have a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy or a Medicare Advantage or another Medicare health plan, check with your plan to see if they offer coverage outside the U.S. Consider buying a travel insurance policy that includes health coverage. For more information, see the Insurance Section of the OurSeniors.net Directory. Just click Health Insurance. For information about any senior-related need, you may contact an OurSeniors.net Advisor by phone at 866-333-2657 (se habla Español), or Contact Us....
Read More
A Medicare Minute

A Medicare Minute

The core purpose of the entire OurSeniors.net Family is to serve the needs of seniors in every way we can. We do this in person at our Brunch and Learn Events and sometimes through our professional office staff. We also devote a great effort to our printed magazine, the OurSeniors.net Magazine. We understand the preference many seniors continue to have for in-hand, printed material. We also understand that seniors are far more tech-savvy than many younger people think. After all, this is the internet isn’t it? Here are two quick Medicare-on-the-web tips that can save you time and future problems: About Your Personal Medicare Information If you have not already done so, make sure Medicare can give your personal health information to someone other than yourself. The unexpected can always occur, and seniors should be especially prepared to deal with it. What would happen if you or a loved one were to be suddenly incapacitated and unable to act on your own behalf....
Read More