Blue Cross offers tips for Medicare Annual Enrollment

Enrollment period runs through Dec. 7

Baton Rouge – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana today offered some tips for making the most of Medicare’s annual enrollment period (AEP), which ends on Dec. 7. This is the time each fall when Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their plan, including enrolling in Medicare Advantage.

Here are some tips to keep in mind during AEP:

Know your Medicare options

With Original Medicare (Parts A and B), you get coverage for hospital care, doctor visits, skilled nursing facility care, home health care services and preventive services.
Original Medicare doesn’t cover all of your healthcare expenses, leaving you responsible for about 20 percent of your costs. It also doesn’t include prescription drug coverage (Part D), which you can buy separately.
With Medicare Advantage (Part C), you get Parts A and B, plus extra benefits. These plans are offered through private insurance companies.

Consider Medicare Advantage

If you are looking for an all-in-one plan with extra benefits, Medicare Advantage might be right for you. Depending on the plan you choose, you could get a fitness center membership, plus vision, hearing and dental services. Some MA plans even include prescription drug coverage.
You will still need to pay your Medicare Part B premium, but the good news is that MA plans have low or zero monthly premiums. You really can get more for less!

Review your prescription drugs

MA plans that include prescription drug coverage – called MAPD plans – will have a formulary or list of covered drugs.
Look up your drugs on this list to see if they are covered and how much they will cost on each plan you are considering.

Check the network

Whether you are signing up for MA for the first time or just exploring your options, it is important to make sure your doctors and hospitals are in the network. Check the plan’s provider directory to be sure.

Ask for help

Don’t get overwhelmed by your Medicare choices. Reach out to friends and family members who are on Medicare to find out what they like about their plan. When you are ready to enroll, an agent or broker can give you expert advice to guide you through the process.

Medicare Advantage Marketing Manager Ann Booth shares AEP tips in this video (2:42).

Raw video footage is available by request.