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If Medicare Choices are Important to You — Then Review!
By Dana Rattenbury

Dana Rattenbury

It is important to take a good look at your healthcare choices each year. Medicare Advantage plans have a lot of features that were attractive when you first enrolled – but every year those plans can change. With Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period just around the corner, October 15th - December 7th, now is the time to gather your medical bills and pharmacy bills from 2012 and 2013 to date to identify if your plan is meeting your needs. Your health is very important and you owe it to yourself to continue having the optimal coverage for your healthcare needs.

In September 2013, you will be receiving documents from your insurance company called the “2014 Annual Notice of Change” and “Explanation of Coverage.” Both documents, mandated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services, provide a very detailed account of how your benefits will change for the coming year and an accompanying explanation of those changes.

You should make time to read the documents very carefully and consider changes to your lifestyle that may affect your plan. Use the checklist below to help determine if your current plan will need to be changed:

  • Did you receive a new diagnosis within the past year?
  • Did you move to Pittsburgh from another area during the last couple of months?
  • Have you been prescribed any new medications?
  • Have you been admitted to a skilled nursing facility?
  • Has your financial situation changed?
  • Is your doctor still in the network?
  • Has your plan dropped any of the “value-added” benefits you were enjoying?
  • Have some of your drugs been dropped or moved to another tier in the formulary?
  • Does your drug program provide coverage in the “Donut Hole?”

The things you’ll want to be watching for are any changes in premium, co-pays and deductibles. If you discover that your current plan is not working as well as you’d like or you are spending more money than you planned – it is time to find a new, better plan for you. I look forward to working with you, to ensure you have the best coverage possible!

Dana Rattenbury is a licensed insurance consultant specializing in Medicare and holds the CLTC (Certified in Long-Term Care) designation and principal of Rattenbury Insurance Group located in O’Hara Township. For more information, visit www.danarattenbury.com or call (412) 956-2704.

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