Each year between October 15th and December 7th, seniors can make changes in their Medicare insurance plans. Seniors who have Medicare Advantage plans and those with standalone drug plans can change them and those plans start January 1st of the following year. (This Medicare Season timeframe does not include Medicare Supplement plans. Will write a different blog explaining Medicare Supplements.)
The airwaves have numerous ads stating the benefits of one plan or another. Many seniors, me included, are inundated with direct mail and unfortunately phone calls about these plans. It is against CMS (Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services) regulations to call seniors without their permission.
In Clark County, there are 84 different options for seniors and with that many different plans, it might make sense to review them at a high level to hopefully eliminate some of the confusion.
As previously stated, the Medicare Advantage world in Clark County is very robust and with so many options it is difficult for seniors to figure out which plan or plans are best for them.
I am going to suggest you find a Medicare broker who is trained to explain the differences between plans making it easier for the senior to make their decision. Brokers cannot charge you for their services as they are paid directly by the insurance company. The commissions paid by each company is the same so brokers aren’t leaning towards one plan over another. Going direct and bypassing the broker will not save the senior any money as most of these plans have no monthly premium.
The method I use to figure out the best plan for my clients is to evaluate their current medical needs by asking which doctors they use and what medications they are on so I can make sure the new plan includes them. Since each plan has different doctors and drug formularies the broker must investigate to ensure the new plan includes them.
When I mention broker, I mean independent brokers, not brokers or agents who work for an insurance company and can only sell their company plans. That is not to say I am disparaging them but the senior needs to be able to choose from several plans from different carriers to pick the best one for them.
Once it is determined which insurance carriers have their doctors and medications that narrows down the plans to a manageable level. Then we review together which of those plans include the benefits the senior wants and then they can decide to change plans or remain on their current plan.
All plans have extra benefits to entice the senior to choose their plan over another plan. The advertising is intense and confusing for seniors, thus the need for a trusted broker to walk them through the Medicare Maze.
Hope you all are happy with your current plan but if you are not, I can assist you in finding something better that meets your needs.
I hope this information is useful and if anyone has questions, please contact me via phone or email and I will respond quickly.
Also, if you need Medicare information, take a look at Medicare 2023 Information.
The Barend Agency Inc.
Len Barend, Broker