The Modern Medicare Agency Blog
Before coronavirus affected people's lives, they were carefree. They buy things themselves and for family. Then, one day, people just lost their jobs. These unprecedented times showed the world how people are unprepared and financially challenged.
These happenings show the importance of protecting one's family with life insurance. Life Insurance offers protection for someone's family in the event of his/her death. It helps people to prevent financial difficulties.
The following are why people should get life insurance in times of pandemic:
See practical tips on when it makes sense to make a switch in Medicare coverage.
As we continue to live with COVID, you especially need to know that you're Medicare health insurance has you covered with the right doctors, medical facilities, and prescriptions. "If you're not satisfied with your current plan or your health or financial situation changed, it may be time to take another look at your options," Say’s Paul Barrett, owner of The Modern Medicare Agency. "You may be paying a lot for coverage you don't need, or your health situation may now require the attention of medical specialists who are currently out of your network. Either way, it's time to investigate other options."
The good news for individuals enrolled in Medicare: If you're not satisfied with your current Medicare coverage, you can make changes during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs every year from October 15 to December 7.
Generally, there are 5 reasons why you might consider making changes to Medicare coverage:
Did your health insurance company make changes to your existing Medicare coverage?When it comes to Medicare plans, and health insurance in general, change happens. These modifications are usually made by the health insurance companies that sell Medicare Supplement, PDP, and MA plans. It's up to you to determine if these changes help or hinder your health care needs.
Every September, health insurance companies that sell Medicare coverage mail out an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) letter to inform you of changes that are taking place with your current coverage for the upcoming year. These differences can be cost changes to prescription drugs, increased or decreased types of coverage, or expanding or shrinking the network area of doctors and medical facilities. "If your coverage becomes more limited or more expensive, that's the catalyst for you to research all your options and consider making modifications to your Medicare plan," Barrett.
Common reasons you might want to switch your Medicare coverageIf you have...
You might want to...
Original Medicare with separate Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) coverage
Medicare Advantage (MA)
Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans
Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs)
Helpful Medicare enrollment remindersAs you think about possible changes to your coverage for the upcoming year during AEP, keep in mind:
If you have Medicare Advantage, or Original Medicare (with optional Medicare Supplement and/or PDP prescription drug coverage), that isn't providing the level of coverage you need at a cost that's affordable, AEP is your chance to course correct.
Yearly Medicare decisions may not be a fun topic, but the right choice can make all the difference. Don’t procrastinate, read your Annual notice of change letter from your carrier and go over your current needs. It's a good idea to get your list of providers together along with any part D prescription you take regularly you will need this information to properly compare plan options. If you are overwhelmed and need help, seek out an independent agent or broker, who works with all major carriers. They will be able to help you sort things out unbiasedly.
3 things to know about the Annual Notice of Changes If you want to avoid surprises in the new year with your Medicare coverage, pay attention to the details.
1. First of all What is it?If you have a Medicare Advantage, A Cost or Drug plan, the Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) tells you about changes to your current Medicare plan benefits and costs that will take effect Jan. 1. These letters typically look like any other junk mail you start getting around the Medicare Annual enrollment period, so it is important to be mindful and on the lookout for it. So I recommend that every September you keep an eye for mail from your Medical insurance provider in particular. Sometimes this task is daunting due to the high number of advertisements coming in the mail, nevertheless being proactive here can really be important.
Changes to premiums, covered services and costs
Typically you will see a side by side comparison of what you have and what it will be in the new year. You obviously want to pay attention to plan increases in cost.
Changes to drug coverageIf you have Medicare Part D (prescription drug) coverage, your plan’s drug list (formulary) will most likely change as new medicines are added and certain medicines are moved to a different cost tier or removed from the list.
A lot of times this is where people fail to pay close attention and have surprises about drug costs, when they first go to the Pharmacy in January for the first time. In most cases they are not good surprises, and if you are on a stand alone part D drug plan it is not easy to change after your annual election period. It will require a SEP also known as a special enrollment period.
Changes to your provider and pharmacy networkYou’ll want to make sure your doctor, hospital, pharmacy and other health care providers are still on the list of providers your Medicare plan will help pay for (network). Your ANOC will most likely say that there are changes, but you’ll have to check your plan’s provider and pharmacy directories to find out exactly what changed. Your ANOC packet will include information on how to access the directories online or how to order a paper copy. This can be a big deal when it comes to both Medical providers and pharmacy, we all like to see doctors we are comfortable with and no one likes to be told sorry we don't accept your insurance. Finding out that your favorite pharmacy no longer accepts your plan or is no longer preferred option is not enjoyable either!( All of this can be avoided by reviewing the annual notice of change letter and reviewing options with your agent.)
2. When does it arrive?You should receive your ANOC in the mail (or by email, if you’ve signed up for paperless delivery) by Sept. 30. The key dates to remember:
3. What do I have to do when I get my ANOC? To prevent surprises in January, you should review your ANOC and understand the changes being made to your plan. If you have a friend or family member who’s had problems with their current plan, check with them to see if they need help understanding the changes.
So just to recap, every September Medicare advantage, along with Medicare cost & part D plans will receive a letter or sometimes an email if you opted for paperless documents. This letter is called the Annual Notice of change, and in this letter you will find all the good, bad or indifferent plan changes for the new year. We really want to play extra close attention to premium increases, deductible increases and any other cost sharing increases for that matter. Besides that you always want to make sure your provider network still works for you and of course that all of your monthly prescriptions are still covered and under the same tiers that you are at now.
During retirement, some people get bored and lost on what they want to do. Some still work part-time for something to do. While others spend most of their retirement savings on travel and leisure. But, finding balance in both things will help you sustain a living after retirement.
So, here are some quick guidelines and ideas on what to do after retirement:
You might be considering obtaining a Medicare plan to cover prescription drugs. To help you shop for Medicare Part D Rx plans, here are some dos and don'ts:
Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, is insurance plans offered by private companies. It provides medical and hospital coverage, with other added benefits. If you are considering obtaining a Medicare Part C plan, here are five things you know.
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