The enrollment and review period runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 for qualified individuals considering options
By Jay Albrecht
UCBJ Assistant Publisher
Medicare costs and covered benefits change each year, so staying on top of those changes should be of utmost importance by those insured through the government program, or looking to be insured.
The time to make changes to your Medicare plan, or to enroll for the first time, is coming soon. Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 is the Medicare Open Enrollment period for 2020, allowing people to find coverage that best suits their individual health and financial needs for next year.
“There’s no need to sift through the changes and try to figure out Medicare options on your own,” said John Cook, president of The Rains Agency and a veteran of the firm for 34 years. “We’re here to help our clients find the best possible solution for their situation and to keep the process stress free.”
According to the professionals at The Rains Agency, even those people already covered by Medicare should not take anything for granted.
“Some seniors make the mistake of thinking that since they have Medicare, everything is covered,” said Cook. “Unfortunately, that’s not the case. That’s one reason why Open Enrollment is so important…to make sure your coverage is still the best option for you.”
Many things change each year with Medicare, from cost of coverage to the items and procedures actually covered.
“Even if your current plan was the best plan when you shopped last year, it is important to verify that again before you lock yourself in for another year,” said Jessica Parrott, executive vice president of The Rains Agency. “We spend a lot of time learning about what’s changed from one year to the next, so we stand ready to answer questions our clients have about how to ensure they continue to have the best coverage.”
Medicare was established in 1966 and is currently administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. There are currently around 60 million individuals served by Medicare, with approximately 10,000 Americans joining daily, mostly consisting of people 65 years of age or older.
There are four types of Medicare. Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and hospice and home health care. Generally, there is no monthly premium for those who qualify and have paid Medicare taxes while working.
Medicare Part B helps cover medical services like doctors’ services, outpatient care and other medically necessary services that Part A doesn’t cover. Patients need to enroll in Medicare Part B and pay a monthly premium determined by their income, along with a deductible. Many people also purchase a supplemental insurance policy, such as a Medigap plan, to handle any Part A and B coverage gaps.
Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are combination plans managed by private insurance companies approved by Medicare. They typically are a combination of Part A, Part B and sometimes Part D coverage, but must cover medically necessary services. These plans have discretion to assign their own copays, deductibles and coinsurance.
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage and is available to everyone with Medicare. It is a separate plan provided by private Medicare-approved companies, and those insured must pay a monthly premium. Medicare imposes a Part D penalty should you not have credible drug coverage when you become eligible for Medicare.
The Rains Agency has a dedicated staff who can help prospective clients navigate through what can be considered a complicated and confusing transaction. The agency is an independent insurance firm offering a full line of products for commercial or personal needs, including property and casualty insurance as well as benefit-related insurance such as group life or health coverage.
The Rains Agency is affiliated with the Progressive Savings Bank full line of financial products, serving clients throughout the Upper Cumberland region with offices in Jamestown, Wartburg, Crossville, Fairfield Glade, Homestead, and Cookeville.
This is the second in a series of articles presented by Progressive Savings Bank and its full line of financial services.
Insurance and annuity products purchased through Rains Agency Inc. are NOT FDIC INSURED, NO BANK GUARANTEE, MAY LOSE VALUE, NOT A DEPOSIT, and are NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY. Insurance coverage cannot be bound or changed via submission of this online form/application, e-mail, voice mail or facsimile.
Progressive Savings Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender.