It’s that time of year again. My husband comes home with a huge packet of healthcare information. Yep, it’s open enrollment for his employer health plan. It’s time for us to look at the options and choices that best suit our family in the coming year.
Every year, Medicare beneficiaries get this kind of event too. It’s called the Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Each year from October 15 to December 7, they have the opportunity to look at the options available in their service area and choose which plan is the best for them and their health.
This is an important time for everyone. As we age, our health may change too. Understanding and knowing what coverage is best for you can be a daunting task, so you should ask yourself some very important questions each and every year.
Am I happy with my current plan? What’s changing for the new year? Is the premium going up on the plan I currently have? Do I need more coverage?
I understand that as Medicare members, you’re sent an enormous amount of marketing material during this time of year. All the Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, and prescription drug plan companies are trying to get your attention and your business.
How do you weed through all the material? And even more important questions come up for you each year. Do I know the difference between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement? Is the prescription drug plan I’m currently on the best value for the prescription drugs I’m taking? Finding the answers can be confusing and frustrating.
The answers you seek can be found quickly and easily. Visit our website or call us directly for answers to your health insurance questions. There are also independent brokers available to you, like GHB Insurance located right in Olympia, to help you with all the plan information you receive. In the Thurston County area, there are also SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefit Advisors) representatives who volunteer their time to help you understand Medicare and all the parts associated with it. They can be found at both the Lacey and Olympia senior centers.
So never fear, your Medicare questions can be answered here. Or at least, we can assist you in getting the answers you need. Remember, you have resources available to you. All you have to do is use them.
Joy Stanford is a community liaison with Health Alliance, serving Thurston County. She’s been involved with Medicare for 20+ years and truly enjoys it. She enjoys gospel, R&B, and country music, and she owns over 100 pairs of shoes.