Medicare open enrollment to begin in October

Doctor with stethoscope
Valley News - Health

TEMECULA – The open enrollment period for Medicare begins Thursday, Oct. 15, and ends Monday, Dec. 7, for those who would like to make a change for 2021. Many plans have stepped up their benefits and added telehealth, personal emergency response systems, post discharge meals when released from the hospital and many other benefits designed to attract enrollees to their plans.

For those with diabetes, many Medicare Advantage Plans will be capping insulin copays at $35. Some plans will offer certain insulins with $0 copays. Called the Part D Savings Model, the program will cover Medicare enrollees who belong to plans that have signed up with the federal government to participate and pass the savings along to their members. It includes both Medicare Advantage plans and stand-alone Part D prescription drug plans.

Enrollees who have an insurance broker that assists them each year during this process should check with them to see if their current plan will be participating in the new program. With all of the uncertainties that continue to be ahead of residents for the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, it is important for people to understand thei health care options and ensure they are getting the most from their Medicare plan. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, health plans are working with insurance agents and their members to allow for enrollment over the phone or virtually. In-person appointments should be kept to a minimum, and safety guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on social distancing will apply.

Cecelia Brown is an independent broker with over 35 years of Medicare experience. She has held executive positions with several health plans, acts as a marketing and compliance consultant with health plans throughout the United States and is a board member for the Foundation for Senior Care. For more information, contact Cecelia Brown at 760-456-5798.