Are You Ready for Medicare Open Enrollment?
Medicare open enrollment is underway.From October 15 through December 7, seniors can change how they get Medicare coverage.
The choices are:
1. Keep your current coverage, whether through traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.
2. Switch from traditional Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan.
3. Change Medicare Advantage plans.
4. Switch from a Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare.
Each of these choices has pros and cons. On behalf of Permian Regional Medical Center, we encourage seniors to talk with their trusted care providers to make an informed choice. For many seniors, there is no advantage to Medicare Advantage. The safest choice is traditional Medicare with a Medigap policy.
• Gives you the freedom to choose your doctors and hospital.
• Provides peace of mind for coverage when you travel whether in Texas or to another state.
• Preserves your ability to decide with your doctor what treatments and services you need and for how long.
Too often, Medicare Advantage plans leave seniors unprotected with unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. They might look appealing because of the perks and extras, but they usually restrict the doctors you’re allowed to see and limit coverage of hospital stays, diagnostic testing, therapies, skilled nursing, and medical equipment. Sometimes coverage restrictions are stated in benefit descriptions, but, often, seniors are denied coverage on case-by-case bases when plans deny doctors’ requests for care for their patients based on plans’ own medical necessity guidelines. These denials can leave physicians, nurses, and seniors scrambling for coverage.
Health care needs are often unpredictable. Medicare Advantage plans may look appealing at first glance, but making a Medicare coverage decision based on health status and needs today can leave seniors unprotected if they have a serious accident or develop a chronic illness at some point in the future. It’s very difficult to predict today if and when you might need an MRI or surgery or physical therapy, for example.
The advantages of traditional Medicare are coverage when and where you need it and with providers you know and trust. During Medicare open enrollment, seniors have options. Ask your health care provider what they recommend or talk with a representative at the federal Medicare Support Hotline (877-486-2048) or Texas Medicare Help Line (800-252-9240). If you have any questions, you can also contact Felicia Jamison at Permian Regional Medical Center (432-464-2409).