3 public information sessions set for Medicare in Grass Valley
Special to The Union
It’s fall checkup time — for folks on Medicare, the Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 “Annual Enrollment Period” can be important.
First step is to check what you have now. Make sure your Medicare card has effective dates for both part A and B.
Do you have a prescription drug plan? You can start or change them during AEP.
Next, do you have other coverage, such as a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan or a Medicare Advantage type, or a retiree plan?
If it’s a Medicare Supplement type of coverage, you can apply for this, or change companies any time of year as long as there’s no duplication. Benefits are standardized by letter, but prices vary. Good mid-price options appeared in 2010, but not everyone noticed them.
If it’s a Medicare Advantage type of coverage (these usually have a built-in drug plan), these can be started during AEP, or perhaps switched, or you can replace it with a Medicare Supplement, and a separate PDP if you want.
If your insurance is through a former employer or union, there’s probably a fall opt-out time. Retiree plans can be expensive, so check out costs and benefits.
Medicare Advantage Plans and Prescription Drug Plans mail you an “Annual notice of Changes around now. At the beginning, you’ll find a one or two-page summary of benefits, which is worth studying.
Is the choice of hospitals and doctors limited? Some people insist on access to university hospitals — and full coverage when away from Nevada County. Do you have to cover a co-pay, (a percentage of costs) for care? How high can that go? Do these features suit you?
Local independent insurance agents David Unterman and Grayson Davenport are available year-round to explain all the choices related to Medicare, using several top insurance companies.
We also will hold at least three public sessions soon, with no cost or obligation.
We emphasize explaining the mid-priced N plan Medicare Supplement; understanding the differences between Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage; showing key dates and deadlines; and explaining Silver Sneakers, which most of our clients get for no extra cost with their insurance.
We provide price quotes on the spot, at several levels. We’ll also demonstrate using the Medicare.gov website to shop for Prescription Drug Plans.
The group meetings happen these Mondays: Oct. 17 and 24, or Nov. 14, at 2:30 p.m. at Margarita’s, 988 Plaza Drive, Grass Valley, across Sutton Way from Rite Aid. They are free and open to the public, with snacks and drinks provided.
The restaurant is accessible. To ask questions or call to set up a private meeting, or to bring up any special needs or accommodation, email David@Bestpolicyhealth.com or call 530-272-4650, or email Grayson@Bestpolicyhealth.com or call 530-575-7099.
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