Senior Citizens Need to Get Ready
for Medicare Open Enrollment
Seniors covered by Medicare do not
need to buy health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace -
Medicare Open Enrollment starts October 15
1, 2013 – The timing of the government shutdown - there is no good time
– has some direct implications for senior citizens, which are about to
begin the annual Open Enrollment period, when those on Medicare can
choose new health and drug plans. It opens on October 15 and closes on
December 7, but making the right choices means researching what is
available this year and making comparisons with your current program. It
is critical that the Medicare website be functioning properly before and
during this period.
The primary things seniors will
need are access to the new Medicare & You 2014 handbook, the Medicare
Compare website, and information from their current plans on their uses
during the past year and changes ahead for 2014.
The Medicare & You 2014 handbook is
available in a paper book format or online. This annual handbook is
mailed each October. If your is in the mail, there should be no problem,
since the postal service is continuing to function during the government
shutdown that began today.
There is also an option – pushed by
the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – to receive the Medicare &
You handbook online. Below is comment from the CMS Blog.
“Medicare & You” without
Love your red, white, and
blue “Medicare & You” handbook but love the convenience of getting
information on your computer, tablet, or phone even more?
You can get all of the same
information in your printed handbook online at Medicare.gov.
Learn what’s new, get Medicare costs, and find out what Medicare covers.
Even better, the handbook information on the web is updated regularly,
so you can instantly find the most up-to-date Medicare information.
you can also do a lot of things on your own like replace your Medicare
card, change your address, sign up or make changes to your Medicare
coverage, and find out important dates. All this in time for October 15
– the start of open enrollment.
Take advantage of some other
great features to get just what you need:
• Search quickly for what
you want and print only the pages you need, while getting the latest,
up-to-date official Medicare information, including the most recent list
of available plans
• Get “Medicare & You” in
different formats like large print, eBook or audio
• Subscribe to get an
e-mail when information is updated
• Access personalized
And, if you’d like to trade
in your printed copy for a paperless version, we’ve got you covered. You
can choose to get your next “Medicare & You” handbook electronically by
using the “go
paperless” option. In a few simple steps, you’ll be all set.
Sign up today and we’ll send you an e-mail including a link to the
new online Medicare & You. It’s instant, current, and
The CMS Blog also blogged on what
seniors need to know to get ready for Open Enrollment.
Enrollment only comes once a year – are you ready?
Medicare Open Enrollment
Oct. 15 - Dec. 7
people with Medicare can choose their plans for 2014
As the days get shorter and the nights get
cooler, you can expect to hear more about Medicare. That’s because
October 15 – December 7 is Medicare Open Enrollment, and it’s your
chance to review your health care coverage and see if you need to make
any changes, or if you’re happy sticking with the plan you have.
This year, you may hear a lot about the
Health Insurance Marketplace. The Marketplace Open Enrollment period
(October 1, 2013–March 31, 2014) overlaps with the Medicare Open
Enrollment period (October 15–December 7, 2013). The Marketplace is
designed to help people who don’t have any health coverage. If you have
health coverage through Medicare,
the Marketplace won’t have any effect on your Medicare coverage.
Over the next few months, look around –
you’ll find a wealth of information about your Medicare benefits,
especially in these everyday places:
Look through your mail carefully — you may
get important notices from your current plan, Medicare, or Social
Security about changes to your coverage or any
extra help you may get paying for prescription drugs.
Also look for your
Medicare & You handbook. Like an old friend, it shows up around the
same time every year. If you decided to “go
paperless,” you’ll get an email pointing you to
medicare.gov where you can get
all the same information.
You’ll also start to see brochures from
companies that offer Medicare health and drug plans. Just remember,
be smart about protecting your personal information and your identity
— plans aren’t allowed to call or come to your home without an
invitation from you. And, it’s against the law for someone who knows
that you have Medicare to sell you a Marketplace plan.
2. On your computer
Comparing your plan choices is important.
Our Medicare Plan Finder
is ready with all of the 2014 cost information to make it as easy as
possible. Enter the drugs you take to find out how you can lower your
costs, review the plan’s ratings to compare plan quality, and join a
plan right online if you find one that meets your needs. If you haven’t
used the Plan Finder before, check out our
help you get started.
3. In newspapers, magazines, TV and radio
Take a moment as you enjoy these crisp
mornings to tune into the Medicare information that’s out there. You may
find a local event — somewhere right around the corner with counselors
to help you, like your State
Health Insurance Assistance Program. Don’t miss the chance to get
personalized help if you need it!
Now’s the time to enjoy the choice and
control you have over your health care coverage. Just like fall,
Medicare Open Enrollment only comes once a year.