There is a lot of publicity to remind folks to check their smoke detector batteries when daylight saving time is over. It makes sense to tie that chore to something that occurs on a regular basis (why not Valentine’s Day?), but I almost always forget to do it.
It seems there are always other more pressing duties on the to-do list, like finishing up in the yard, switching out those summer clothes, or putting up the storm windows (if you are unlucky enough to still have storm windows).
Another reminder comes along this time of year. Medicare-eligible individuals’ mailboxes are bombarded with mail for the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). While it can be annoying and overwhelming, it’s incredibly important for them to review their healthcare coverage every year to see if their current plan still meets their needs. The days of one-size-fits-all are over.
If you are a caregiver, a change in your loved one’s situation may indicate the need for different coverage. Have they started traveling more? Less? Have their medication needs changed, like new prescriptions or treatments for a chronic illness? Did their primary care provider retire or relocate? Did their current plan change, and does it still suit their needs? It’s time to explore their options.
We know you are busy, so let’s look at a few resources.
A great one is Medicare.gov. This site is easy to navigate and packed with information. You can check the plan’s Star Rating while you’re at it.
Another great resource is your state’s Department on Aging. It offers impartial counseling services for people who are Medicare-eligible.
Your local Area Agency on Aging is a gold mine. Find one near you at n4a.org.
HealthAllianceMedicare.org is also easy to navigate and gives a nice overview of the options we offer in your county.
The AEP for 2019 is October 15 through December 7. The sooner you review your needs and gather information, the better equipped you will be to make an informed choice. When you’re done, you can move onto something really important, like cleaning out the junk drawer in the kitchen (like that’s going to happen).
Morgan Gunder is a community and broker liaison for Reid Health Alliance. Born in the South and raised in the Midwest, she is a wife and mother with a passion for traveling, learning, and technology.