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Medicare Decision Time is Here
by Frank MacNeil, Agency Manager, Focus Senior Benefits

The last three months of the year bring many things to the people of Western Pennsylvania. Steelers football, the changing color of the leaves, Christmas music on every radio station, and relentless Medicare advertisements assault our senses through every possible medium.  It is an annual rite of passage prior to the Holiday season.

For seniors on Medicare, these advertisements prompt several questions to arise:

  • Am I satisfied with my plan?
  • Are my drugs still going to be covered?
  • Will my doctor still accept my plan?
  • Do I need to shop?

This should not be a time of anxiety or panic.  Medicare consumers should feel excitement in the air!  The various insurance companies have had an entire year to figure out how to position their benefits to be attractive to their customers.  Consumers now have the ability to shop these new plans and make decisions for next year.

Here are a couple of key things every consumer on Medicare should do in advance of December 7th:

Don’t Forget the Drugs
Many times, consumers will focus in on the premium of the plan that they are on, and if they see that it hasn’t changed – or changed very little – they will assume that their plan is the same as the previous year.  The most significant area where subtle changes can happen and have a significant impact on cost is with prescription drug coverage.

Know What’s Out There
It may be that the plan a consumer is on was appropriate last year, and may still be appropriate this year.  However, new plans could have entered the market that would offer lower costs or richer coverage.  If someone isn’t looking at Medicare options, then it could cost them in the end.

Get Some Advice
If you were going to put thousands of dollars into an investment, would you do it without the advice of a professional advisor?  If you needed an annual check-up done on your car, would you do it yourself?  Assessing Medicare coverage on an annual basis is no different.

At the end of the day, the Annual Election Period offers an opportunity for consumers to adjust their coverage to suit their ever-changing needs.  It’s important to be a full participant in that process to ensure that the coverage continues to provide adequate protection.

To meet with an experienced agent from Focus Senior Benefits in your neighborhood to review your Medicare options in 2018, call (412) 446-2491. For more information, visit our website at FocusSeniorBenefits.com.

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