The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period starts on October 15. It’s the time of year when you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage plan. Plans can change premiums, copays, and formularies every year, so it’s important to review your coverage and see if it still suits your needs.
Medicare.gov is a great resource, as is your local senior center. You can also call Health Alliance at 1-888-382-9771 or TTY 711 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily from October 1 to February 14 and weekdays the rest of the year) or go to HealthAllianceMedicare.org for insight. Because I know this subject can be a little dry, I turned it into a poem from our vantage point. I hope you enjoy!
The chaos starts in mid-October.
Medicare says, “Think it over.”
The plan choice that you made last year,
It may be time to change and steer.
You stay at home most all the year.
Your children want you safe and near.
You dislike the awful weather.
HMOs might suit you better.
Maybe you’d like a PPO.
The freedom helps the snowbirds go,
To warmer climes away from ice.
So bon voyage! (It must be nice!)
Supplements can come in handy.
If you’re mobile, they are dandy.
Great if you like to get away,
If you are active day by day.
We brace for those who wait ‘til later.
Here’s our next procrastinator,
Frantic, stricken, and full of fear.
(Showing up late year after year.)
My co-workers have lost their voices.
December 7 ends your choices.
(And why’d they pick Pearl Harbor day?
It’s odd, I know, I just can’t say.)
We’re done, all is signed and dated.
You now feel somewhat elated.
No need to worry and have no fear,
We will be back again next year.
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.
Health Alliance Medicare is an HMO and PPO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Health Alliance Medicare depends on contract renewal.