Tag Archives: AEP

Join Us at Our Enroll Expo

Join Us!

UPDATE: please be advised that the Urbana Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, or the former Holiday Inn, is now called the Wyndham Garden Hotel.

Expo Blog Invite

Save

Height of Halloween

My Healthy Journey: Mixing Procrastination and Halloween

So, I know I’ve mentioned before now that Halloween candy is hard for me to resist, but I’m not sure that I’ve mentioned that Halloween is also my favorite holiday.

I did theater as a kid, and dressing up and doing fun makeup is my favorite part, but I love lots of things about Halloween.

I have enough candy in the house all month long to really damage a person’s insides. (There are candy dishes in multiple rooms of the house, and bags of it stashed in other multiple rooms.) I love caramel apples. I love Curtis Orchard, for you Champaign area residents, and their cider and donuts. I love the creepy and cute decorations. I love horror movies, even the bad ones.  I love seeing little kids in costume* all over the neighborhood, and I’m not normally a kid-person either, so that’s saying something. (I have an irrational fear that my arms will suddenly give out, and I will drop and kill any child I am holding.)

*If you too love seeing babies in costumes, you have to look at this blog post with our social media recap from last week. Have you ever seen a happier and cuter Chucky?

So, every year around Halloween, my life gets a little crazier and busier. Most years, I make homemade candy and popcorn balls and eat way too much. This year, I was good and resisted the urge, (even though our Pinterest has some really great lighter candy recipes, if you too have a sweet tooth problem,) and instead snacked on microwave kettle corn.

I also plan elaborate costumes and carve lots of pumpkins, and I usually try to use some of the wasted seeds and pumpkin in recipes. This year, my roommate and I even went a little crazy on decorations:

Halloween Decorations 1

Halloween Decorations 2

Halloween Decorations 3

And these are just the big displays. We also have Halloween handtowels, an all-black candelabra in the dining room, and candles everywhere…

I had to cut back my Halloween love this year though because we’re all still pretty busy here at Health Alliance with the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period going on, and with the regular Open Enrollment Period about to begin.

So while I didn’t make a lot of food, (truthfully for the best,) I did still carve seven pumpkins and go costume crazy. (Both of which my dog hates. She does not appreciate my cuddling pumpkins on my lap every night for a week instead of her, nor does she enjoy not recognizing me and getting makeup in her mouth when giving kisses.)

Why am I telling all of you this? Because I’ve sadly been too busy for my Rally goals. I started out good on the stretching, but it didn’t last once I hit last week. The only mission I’ve really been doing is the bedtime routine, and even that’s been thrown out of whack with how busy I was. Which is why I haven’t blogged. I don’t have much good health news to report.

So, because November is the month where I stop eating candy, and start making good, you get one last post all about my distracted failures. To make up for the fact that I’m not much of a health inspiration, let me be your holiday one!

Because of my costume, I went with Disney themed pumpkins:

Ariel Pumpkin Carving

Ursula Pumpkin Carving

Maleficient Pumpkin Carving

Sleeping Beauty Pumpkin Carving

Evil Queen Pumpkin Carving

Snow White Pumpkin Carving

Cruella Pumpkin Carving

Now, I know most of you have never actually seen me before, so this photo of my costume won’t be much of a transformation to you, but I promise that’s not normally what my face looks like! I went as Ursula from “The Little Mermaid,” because I loved the costume with the movable tentacles, but I wanted to be a really evil Ursula. The kind mermaids would actually be afraid of. I think I ended up looking a bit like the creatures from “Avatar,” but it was a lot of fun!

Ursula Costume

(Also, I’m making that face because I even had fangs!)

Ursula Makeup

And finally, just for kicks, here are some pumpkin oldies from a few years ago, when I did my personal favorite theme, ’80s horror movie villians:

My Bloody Valentine Pumpkin Carving

Chucky Pumpkin Carving

The Lost Boys Pumpkin Carving

Slasher Villian Pumpkin Carvings

Hellraiser Pumpkin Carving

Freddy Pumpkin Carving

I apologize for my lazy journey progress, but take comfort in knowing my punishment, as I’m now nursing a sugar hangover and seriously abused skin, and yet I encourage you to waste a little time on the things you love! Happy is an important part of any healthy journey.

Have your own awesome costumes or decorations? Feed my obsession and share in the comments or on our social media!

Save

Save

Quality Customer Service with Health Alliance

Why Should I Choose Health Alliance?

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is in full swing, and you might be wondering why you should pick a plan with Health Alliance?

Insurance for Real Life.

We treat you like a person, not a policy. We don’t like to brag, but we have a pretty amazing team. Every person, from front office to corner office, wants you to be your best.

Tens of thousands of network physicians
Hundreds of network hospitals
Nearly 300,000 members
500-plus Health Alliance employees and growing to serve your needs
One goal. Deliver top-notch insurance that fits your needs and budget

You Can Relax Knowing You’re Covered

We are always building our network to give you a large network of doctors, hospitals, and clinics you trust.

If you’re miles from home and outside your network, we have services linked to getting quality emergency medical care while traveling 100 miles from home or abroad through Assist America.

We Are Here to Help

We love hearing from our members. So whether it’s in person, on the phone or through social media, when you have a question, our Customer Service reps are here for you.

You’ll never have to jump through hoops to get answers. They give personal help to over 40,000 callers each month and connect members to answers in 15 seconds or less, on average. They resolve 99.6% of issues on the first call.

They’re also happy to meet with you. Just stop in Monday through Friday. We’re at 206 W. Anthony Drive in Champaign, IL or 316 S. Fifth St., Wenatchee, WA.

Our Medicare seminars are informational meetings we hold all over our service areas during the AEP, so you can find one close to you.

Extra Benefits

Our Medicare Advantage plans have extra benefits like SilverSneakers Fitness Program, $0 Tier 1 drugs at Walmart and Sam’s Club, Assist America, and our Anytime Nurse Line.

We also help you settle in. We mail you your member materials. We will also call you to verify that your coverage is in place and talk to you about making the most of your benefits.

Health Alliance will take care of you every step of the way. It’s no wonder 96% of our members unpack their bags and stay awhile.

Call 1-888-382-9771 (TTY 711) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. Or visit HealthAllianceMedicare.org for more info.

Health Alliance Medicare is an HMO, PPO, and PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment depends on contract renewal. You must continue to pay your Part B premium. Low-cost prescriptions are available at other in-network pharmacies. The benefit information here is just a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium, and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year.

Getting Covered this AEP

Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period Is Here!

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for Medicare patients starts today, on October 15.

The AEP comes each fall when the government gives everyone a chance to buy the plan they need. But they only last for so long!

Medicare’s AEP ends on December 7, so there are just a few months for you to pick a health plan.

Health Alliance can help you pick a plan that fits your needs. With great customer service, $0 Tier 1 drugs at Walmart and Sam’s, and the SilverSneakers fitness program, it’s no wonder 96% of our members stay with us year after year.

Check back here and follow us on social media to learn more about Medicare and the special benefits Health Alliance’s Medicare Advantage plans can give you.

Get a head start and start shopping now!

Call 1-888-382-9771 (TTY 711) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays. Or visit HealthAllianceMedicare.org for more info.

Health Alliance Medicare is an HMO, PPO, and PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment depends on contract renewal. You must continue to pay your Part B premium. Low-cost prescriptions are available at other in-network pharmacies. The benefit information here is just a brief summary, not a complete description of benefits. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, formulary, pharmacy network, premium, and/or copayments/coinsurance may change on January 1 of each year.

Medicare Advantage Mythbusting

Long View: Medicare Advantage Truths Might Just Change Your Mind

As I travel around the Illinois countryside, I hear the same misinformation about Medicare Advantage over and over. To tackle some of that, here’s a Q and A.

Question: When I join a Medicare Advantage plan do I lose my Medicare coverage?

Answer: No. If you have a Medicare Advantage HMO or PPO plan, a private health insurance company that has a contract with Medicare, like Health Alliance Medicare, provides the services instead of Original Medicare. People who disenroll from Medicare Advantage plans revert to Original Medicare. In either case, no one loses Medicare coverage.

 

Question: Will I be able to stay with my current doctors?

Answer: Probably, especially with Health Alliance Medicare. That’s why it’s important to check any plan’s provider directory to confirm your doctors work with the plan. People who select a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan can use out-of-network providers, but they typically pay more when they receive services.

 

Question: We travel and might need to use the emergency room. Will Medicare Advantage plans only cover me for emergency care when I’m close to home?

Answer: No. Medicare Advantage plans cover out-of-area emergency and urgently needed care.

 

Question: If something serious happens and we need lots of services, could we predict how much we would pay for care?

Answer: Yes. Medicare Advantage plans have an annual Out-of-Pocket Maximum (OOPM), also called a Yearly Limit. When a Medicare Advantage member reaches that limit, the health plan pays 100 percent for Medicare-approved services. This amount doesn’t include the premium and other limited expenses. You can estimate what your expenses would have been last year on the Medicare Advantage plan you are considering.

 

Question: Medicare Advantage sounds good for me, but wouldn’t the premium be too costly for my 88-year-old mom?

Answer: Not at all. One of the best things about Medicare Advantage plans is the premium is the same no matter the member’s age. You and your mom would pay the same monthly premium if you had the same plan, unless either of you could get extra help paying for coverage based on your income.

 

Question: Would I have to deal with all the paperwork I get when I receive services from Original Medicare plus a Medicare Supplement plan?

Answer: No. You would have much less paperwork with a Medicare Advantage plan. In fact, that’s one reason Medicare Advantage plans exist, and I’m all for less paperwork.

 

Remember, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, or AEP, runs from October 15 to December 7. That’s the only time most people can change their coverage for the following year.

If you are thinking about a change for yourself or a loved one, you will have to do a bit of research. Trusted resources like Area Agencies on Aging and your local senior center can help.

Please consider Health Alliance Medicare a resource, too.

We all want to make well-informed choices that don’t depend on myths and misinformation.

AEP Autumn

Vantage Point: It’s That Time of Year

Days are warm and evenings crisp. Orchards bustle during the pear and apple harvest. It is my favorite time of year, but for seniors it can be stressful because of Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from October 15 through December 7. This is the time of year when most Medicare beneficiaries can choose or change their Medicare coverage.

Better-than-ever health care coupled with healthier lifestyles means people are living longer. With that, living on a fixed income means many seniors worry about having affordable health care for years to come.

One of the most common questions we hear in our Wenatchee office is, “What is the difference between a Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Part C)?” Learning about each product can help people understand what best fits their lifestyles, pocket books, and health care needs.

Whether choosing a Supplement or Advantage plan, you must continue to pay your part B premium.

Medicare Supplements work much like a secondary insurance. They pick up their share of the covered health care cost after Medicare pays, depending on what plan you purchase. For example, it may pick up 10 percent of the 20 percent coinsurance (meaning you would still pay 10 percent). Supplements will not cover any cost Medicare denies, and some Supplements require medical underwriting to gauge the health of the individual. Premiums, or the cost you pay for the coverage each month, are generally more expensive. Like with Original Medicare, you can see any doctor who accepts Medicare.

Medicare Advantage plans replace Original Medicare, which means hospital and doctor visits are paid directly by the plan. Many Advantage plans also include prescription coverage making for one tidy package. To be clear, you still keep all your Medicare benefits. There is no medical underwriting, and premiums are generally lower. Advantage plans also cover extras that Medicare does not, like dental and fitness programs. They also work closely with provider offices to help coordinate care. This helps many members stay healthier. Advantage plans have contracts with provider offices so a member normally must chose a doctor within the plan’s network.

Health Alliance takes Medicare seriously, and our Wenatchee office and helpful customer service representatives are a resource you can count on to help make a great decision for you during AEP and beyond.

Visit us at 316 S. Fifth St. in Wenatchee from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekdays. Or call 1-877-561-1463, TTY 711, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. That looks like a toll-free number, but our local representatives are on the other end waiting to help.