Medicare Enrollment Plan Counseling…
There are more than 2,500 benefits programs nationwide for older Americans, according to the National Council on Aging. Medicare beneficiaries, approaching 60 million at the end of 2017, outnumber them all. We provide counseling to our patients at Salerno Medical Associates to help them negotiate what may seem a confusing maze to the best possible health coverage
Making the Most of Open Enrollment…
The access from Medicare coverage comes every year through open enrollment from October 15th to the seventh of December 7. A Medicare coverage representative, Miriam Clark, comes to our office two days a week and is readily available for appointment when needed as she has been for the past six years.
“She helps people navigate through the system and simplifies complex things, matching our seniors to the right plans for them,” assures Dr. Alexander Salerno, administrative head of Salerno Medical Associates.
This counseling helps participants deal with other state and federal requirements, including pre-conditions, age, and effects of and compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This presents the opportunity to ask questions about particular needs and concerns. If you can’t come to her, she can come to you via scheduled home visits. This works in coordination with our community outreach program for the elderly, Senior Housing Outreach Program (SHOP), which is home-based to reach those who find it difficult or dangerous to travel for this service.
If you get your current health coverage through the ACA individual marketplace, a retiree health plan, COBRA and other limited continuation of health coverage or the military’s TRICARE for Life program, you also must sign up for Medicare Parts A and B during the initial enrollment period to avoid permanent penalties.
Open Enrollment Options:Medicare open enrollment, or the annual coordinated election period, offers not only the opportunity to sign up for Medicare but allows current enrollees to re-evaluate current coverage, upgrading or changing their plans between October 15 and December 7 if they choose to do so.
During Medicare open enrollment, a beneficiary might:
—switch back and forth from Medicare Advantage and Original Medicare and vice-versa;
— add the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan;
— withdraw from Part D coverage depending on other options, or
— switch from one Part D prescription drug plan to another.
Note: Changes made during open enrollment take effect on January 1 of the subsequent year.
Another open enrollment period starts in 2019, and it applies exclusively to people covered under Medicare Advantage plans. The open enrollment period for these plans offers a window of three months from January 1 to March 31. Medicare Advantage enrollees may either switch to Original Medicare (plus a Part D plan if they so choose) or enroll in a different Medicare Advantage plan altogether. You are allowed to make only one change during those three months, which means you can’t switch to one Medicare Advantage plan in January, for example, and then to another one in February or March.
Seem complicated? Not if you have the right specialist advising you. We bring you and that expert together at SMA.
Call us at (973)672-8573 or make an appointment online.