Monthly Archives: October 2016

Open Enrollment, why should I do anything

Please take time an review your Medicare benefits during Open Enrollment which will be happening from October 15th to December 7th. During Open Enrollment, anyone with Medicare can change their prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan for any reason. You should be getting your Annual Notice of Change/Evidence of Coverage (ANOC/EOC which your plan is required to mail out on the 30th of September If you don’t receive it by the second week in October, then call your plan and ask for it. The ANOC/EOC is a BIG packet (it’s easy to get overwhelmed) but resist the urge to stash it in a drawer unopened. You will need the Evidence of Coverage (EOC) part because it lists specific details about when your plan will cover costs, which you will need if you have to file an appeal. The ANOC part lets you know what aspects of your plan will change from 2016 to 2017; remember, insurance companies can make yearly changes to Medicare plans that might increase your out-of-pocket costs. The ANOC/EOC is the only mailer plans are required to send out in order to alert you to these yearly plan changes. Whether the changes are major or minor, you need to figure out what impact they will have on you.

You could also get another letter from Centers for Medicare and Social Security (CMS)
for the following reasons:
If your current plan will no longer be available in 2017
If your current plan received a low star rating for at least three years in a row
If you qualify for Extra help to help pay some of the costs of your part D prescription drug plan? You may receive a letter from CMS saying that you’ll be put in a different plan in 2017; this is known as “reassignment.”

The available plans and what they cover changes from one year to the next, so even if the plan you have now was the best option when you shopped last year, it’s important to verify that again before you lock yourself in for another year. It can make a huge difference to both your bottom line and the quality of your care. Also please remember that there are no free luches etc going to or calling the ads that you see might be enrolling you into a plan that isn’t right for you

One of the major change is the amount of “Donut Hole” for 2017. The initial coverage limit ($3,700 in 2017), and ends when they have spent $4,950 . For 2017, while in the donut hole, enrollees will pay 40 percent of the cost of brand name drugs (down from 45 percent in 2016) and 51 percent of the cost of generic drugs (down from 58 percent in 2016). The Medicare Part D deductible will be $400 in 2017.

Another change is for 2017,if there is a COLA for Social Security, the Medicare Part B premium will increase any where from $2.70 to $27.20 more each month depending on what your current premium is .

You can get help with what plan is the best for your by many ways. You can call SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) is a free program offered by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs and your local Area Agency on Aging at 866-531-8011. call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (800) 633-4227 ) go online to Medicare.gov, or call WOCOA for help.