There are a lot of reminders for folks to check their smoke detector batteries when daylight saving time is over. It does make 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 things on the to-do list, like finishing up in the yard, switching out those summer clothes, or putting up the storm windows, if you’re unlucky enough to still have storm windows.
Just like these yearly chores, Medicare-eligible people need 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 thanks to the options-obsessed baby boomers. (I am including myself, so you know.)
If you’re a caregiver, a change in your loved one’s situation may show the need for different coverage. Have they started traveling more or less? Did their medication needs change because of things like new prescriptions or treatments for a chronic illness? Did their primary care provider retire or move? Did their current plan change? Does it still meet their needs? It’s time to explore your options.
We know you’re busy, so let’s look at a few resources:
A great one is Medicare’s website. This site is relatively easy to navigate and packed with information. You can check your plan’s Star Rating while you’re at it.
Another good resource is your state’s Department on Aging. They have independent counseling services for people who are Medicare-eligible.
Your local Area Agency on Aging is a gold mine. Find one near you.
Our website is easy to navigate and gives you a nice overview of the options we have in your county.
The Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare is once again from October 15 until December 7. Sign up then for a plan that starts on January 1, 2017. The sooner you review your needs and gather information, the better you’ll be able 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 ever going to happen.
Patrick Harness is a community liaison with a long history of experience in health insurance. If you ask him to pick a color, he always chooses orange, and he is known for his inability to parallel park.