By Laarni Bulchand, BSN
Hopefully you know by now, but as of October 15, Medicare has begun open enrollment for beneficiaries to assess their benefits and change their coverage to suit their needs until December 7. Ms. Deborah Shelton, in an article for the Chicago Tribune interviews Medicare Chief Jonathan Blum, who addresses that there are changes such as fewer health plans, lower premiums and an earlier deadline.
The changes that Medicare has tried to implement are emphasis on wellness and prevention, generous prescription coverage, and emphasis on best possible choices through limiting health plans.
Jonathan Blum suggests: “The first thing they should do is take stock of their current plan and the current use they have — look in their medicine cabinet and understand the drugs they are taking today and make an assessment. They should go on our website if they have access to the Internet and type in their medications and ZIP code and look at the choices they have. If they don’t have access to the Internet, they can call the senior health insurance program or call the toll-free Medicare number. But the first step is to understand what they have and what they need.”
The next step is to ask if they are satisfied. If the answer is yes, then they don’t need to do anything. If they want to shop around and see if there are ways to reduce costs, then this is the time to do that. Changes take effect Jan. 1.