It’s very important to get the most out of your Medicare health benefits; therefore, you’ll need to understand how and when you can make a plan change. During each fall, you are allowed a period whereby you can switch Medicare plans. This is often called – open enrollment. Since the open enrollment period is almost upon us, we wanted to supply you with some information for making the best decision to fit your needs.

Are you currently under the managed Medicare plan? If so, you can choose to opt-out and re-enroll in Medicare during the open enrollment period that runs each year from October 15 to December 7. During this time, anyone can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year.

If you have the managed Medicare plan, you can go back to traditional or original Medicare. Many believe that the traditional Medicare plan remains the gold standard for health care benefits. Why? The amount of coverage and/or care you receive is directed by your physician, hospital, or other provider — and not by an insurance company. This means you have the option to select your doctors while the other plan may require you to get your health care from providers in the plan’s network. Always remember if in need of emergency care, with either plan you can go to any doctor or hospital without being turned away.

What is meant by the gold standard? Gold has several meanings but most associate it with the best and great value. We all want the best. The traditional Medicare plan is considered by most doctors, hospitals and Medicare recipients as the gold standard of coverage.

During this open enrollment period you can always switch from traditional Medicare to a managed Medicare plan or from one managed care plan to another managed care plan.

Remember, if you need assistance or additional information regarding your Medicare plan don’t hesitate to call us at 440-808-5500, choose a location of one of homes and ask for the Social Workers.

Throughout the year when you receive information about Medicare health or prescription drug plans you should always review these materials. Make sure to pay attention to sections such as the “Evidence of Coverage” (EOC) and “Annual Notice of Change” (ANOC). This is how you will be notified if your coverage has been changed.

Please know we want you to make the best decision to benefit your particular needs. If you are pleased with your current plan and it fits your needs, there is no reason to change.

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