If I could show you how to save money on your Medicare prescription drug plan, would you be interested?
You have an opportunity to possibly do so during Medicare’s annual election period – better known as open enrollment.
Regardless of which name you use, this is the period between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7 when Medicare beneficiaries can elect to change prescription drug plans, change Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans, switch from original Medicare to Part C, and vice versa. Changes you make are effective Jan. 1.
Last week, I wrote about why and how to be a careful shopper when you’re looking at Medicare Advantage plans. I used an enticing offer I received as an example. Today, I’ll do the same about your prescription drug coverage.
If you’re unhappy with your current Medicare plan, you’re in luck. It’s that time of year — Medicare shopping season.
For insurance companies that sell Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, now through Dec. 7 is sort of like the holiday season for retailers, with lots of advertising, promoting products and deals.
Read on to learn why Medicare beneficiaries should shop around but not necessarily buy a new plan. I’ll also explain how to avoid making bad decisions that could affect your health care — and your wallet.
If you have Medicare as your primary insurance and get hit with a health-related emergency while traveling in another country or on a cruise ship, will your treatment be covered? That’s the question many of our readers are asking. That’s the question many of our readers are asking.
Read on to understand what your Medicare coverage will and won’t do if you face a medical problem during an international trip. And, of course, I’ll also tell you how to make sure you are protected.
My sister-in-law recently asked me why her Medicare Advantage plan was repeatedly leaving voicemails asking her to set up a home visit. The messages offer to pay her $50 to do so. The money was tempting but she had concerns about the legitimacy of the calls.
She’s not the only one getting such requests. A Consumer Rescue reader submitted a similar question, asking if Medicare rules require her to agree to a visit.
If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, chances are you’ve gotten or will get such a call. That has to make one wonder why the plans are willing to pay people to make the calls. Also, why are they so persistent, and why are they willing to pay you for the visits?
There’s a lot of confusion about whether you are required to join Medicare when you turn 65. Unfortunately, depending on who you ask, the answer you get may be wrong.
Recently, my wife and I had lunch with some long-time friends. He’s retired and enrolled in Medicare. She will soon turn 65 but does not plan to retire for at least another two years. The health insurance coverage she has through her work is fine.
She told us that she had attended a retirement planning session offered at her workplace, where the presenter said you must enroll in Medicare at age 65. She wanted to know if that was true. I told her that if the presenter actually said that, then she received some bad information.
Then just last week, an acquaintance asked me that same question.
So the purpose of this article is to give you the real answer, which is: “It depends.”
Ben Franklin famously said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” How about saving nearly $1,000? That’s how much my wife’s sister-in-law saved just by comparing Medicare prescription drug plans.
If this were an advertising scam, the headline might say, “Click here to find out how she earned $1,000 in less than an hour.”
But this isn’t some kind of advertising sales come-on. There is a real way to save money on your annual Medicare costs that most people overlook: shopping around for the best plan.
Bob Miller of Columbus, OH, needed cataract surgery on both eyes. He had the surgery on the first eye, but the evening before he was to have the second eye done, he got a phone call from his ophthalmologist. Miller’s Medicare Advantage plan had just informed the doctor that it was not authorizing the second surgery and she told him that she had to cancel the procedure.
“I was dumbfounded,” Miller told me. “It wasn’t like this would be a surprise to them. I have two eyes.”