Medicare is stronger than ever with more benefits, better choices, and reasonable costs to beneficiaries.
Expanded Medicare benefits continue to be available –including certain free preventive benefits, cancer screenings and an annual wellness visit. Whether you choose Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan – beneficiaries should take advantage of the Open Enrollment period to review cost, coverage, or both.
• More Benefits: Certain preventive benefits – including cancer screenings – are available with no cost to patients when furnished by qualified and participating health care professionals. The annual wellness visit allows people to sit down and discuss with their doctor their health care needs and the best ways to stay healthy.
• Better Choices: Medicare will notify beneficiaries about plan performance and use its online Plan Finder to encourage enrollment in quality plans.
• New Costs: Average premiums for 2014 prescription drug coverage and Medicare health plans will experience increases. People who are in the "donut hole" in Medicare's prescription drug benefit will enjoy approximately 53 percent discounts on covered brand name drugs and increased savings on generic drugs. Your health needs change from year to year. And, health plans may change the benefits and costs each year as well. That's why it's important for everyone to evaluate their Medicare choices regularly. Open Enrollment is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can see what new benefits Medicare has to offer and make changes to their coverage. It's worth it to take the time to review and compare, however, you do not have to do it alone.
Medicare and the Local Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance in the Council On Aging Office is available to help.
NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Visit www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan to compare current coverage with all of the options that are available in their area, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to make a change.
Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24-hours a day/7 days a week to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
Get one-on-one help from Central Oregon Council On Aging, the Medicare / Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) Program representative in Central Oregon by calling our Bend Office Telephone 541-678-5483 (toll free: 1-877-704-0392).
Important Reminder: The new Affordable Health Care Act ( "Obama Care") designed to help those people who do not have health insurance this program will not affect your Medicare Coverage and as a Medicare participating beneficiary you should not enroll in that insurance.