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Medicare Annual Open Enrollment

Oct. 15 - Dec. 7th

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Call 310-257-7239 to Learn More About Your Medicare Options

COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT MEDICARE

What is Medicare Annual Election Period?

Medicare Open Enrollment (Oct. 15-Dec. 7) is the time when all people with Medicare are encouraged to review their current health and prescription drug coverage. This includes reviewing any changes in costs, coverage, and benefits that will take effect next year.

If you want to change your coverage for next year, you must make your changes by December 7th. If you’re satisfied with your current Medicare coverage you don’t need to do anything.

Medicare.gov, Oct 1, 2016, "Medicare & the Marketplace"

What Changes Can I Make During MAEP?

  • Change from original or traditional Medicare to a private, managed-care Medicare Advantage plan
  • Change from a Medicare Advantage plan back to traditional Medicare
  • Switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another
  • Join a stand-alone Medicare prescription plan
  • Switch from one prescription plan to another

Keep My Plan or Choose a New One?

Your choice of Medicare Advantage Plans should be based on your individual medical needs and personal preferences. Here are some important things to compare:

  • Expenses: How much are your premiums, deductibles or co-pays for doctor visits? What about hospital stays?
  • Prescription Drug Costs: Does the plan cover prescription drugs? What will your prescription drugs cost under the plan?
  • Travel Coverage: All Medicare Advantage HMO plans cover you for emergency treatment out of the area. However, some have dollar limits when traveling out of the USA
  • Your Doctors and Hospital: Can you see your current Torrance Memorial Medical Center doctors and specialists, as well as use hospital services under your new plan?
  • Your Treatments: What are your routine medical treatments?
  • “Maximum Out-of-Pocket” Limit: All HMO’s must include a yearly “Maximum Out-of-Pocket” limit or MOOP. This is the maximum amount that you would pay for medical costs in the calendar year. What is yours?

If you are happy with your current health plan coverage/Medicare choice, there is no need to do anythig during Open Enrollment. Your health coverage will continue next year.

When Does Coverage Start If I Change Health Plans?

If you slect a new health plan during Medicare Annual Election Period, coverage begins January 1, 2017.

Will I Receive Any Notices From My Health Plan?

Any day now your current Medicare Advantage Plan will send a big packet of information to your home. Pay close attention to the “Annual Notification of Change” letter that outlines how some of your benefits will have changed from 2016 to 2017. You may find an increase in co-pays for many services, including prescription drug costs.

What Should I Do If I Want To Change Plans?

If you would like to switch your Medicare Advantage Plan, then you’ll need the Torrance Health IPA physician code for your existing primary care physician. You can get it by calling Torrance Health IPA Member Services Toll-Free at 1-866-568-4472.

Once you choose your plan, you can use your Torrance Health IPA physician code to sign up by calling the plan at the contact number. When you sign up for a new Medicare Advantage Plan you will be automatically dis-enrolled from your old plan and your new plan will begin on January 1, 2017.

If you choose a new Medicare Advantage Plan confirm that the medical group listed on your new Medical Insurance ID card is Torrance Health IPA (THIPA). This is the only way you can continue to see your primary care physician and specialists as well as take advantage of all of the valuable programs and services Torrance Health IPA offers its senior members.

How Do I Compare Plans?

  • Go to www. medicare.gov and compare Medicare Advantage plans using the Plan Finder tool or call 1-800-MEDICARE
  • THIPA is always here to help, contact Torrance Health IPA at 310-257-7239 to schedule a FREE consultation with an independent health insurance agent who specializes in helping seniors select the plan that’s best for them.

If you’re satisfied with the 2017 changes in benefits and prescription drug coverage under your existing Medicare Advantage Plan and/or stand-alone Medicare drug plan, then do nothing. You will continue with your existing plan in 2017.

How Can I Learn About My Medicare Options?

  • Call 310-257-7239 to schedule a FREE consultation with a Health Insurance Advisor today!
  • Join Torrance Health IPA at an upcoming event.
  • Go to www. medicare.gov and compare Medicare Advantage plans using the Plan Finder tool or call 1-800-MEDICARE
  • Have a THIPA Representative Contact You

If you’re satisfied with the 2017 changes in benefits and prescription drug coverage under your existing Medicare Advantage Plan and/or stand-alone Medicare drug plan, then do nothing. You will continue with your existing plan in 2017.

Does The Health Insurance Market Place Affect My Medicare Choices?

The Health Insurance Marketplace is designed to assist 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.

The Marketplace won’t affect your Medicare choices nor benefits.

*If you have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), you’re considered covered and won’t need to select a Marketplace plan.

Medicare.gov, Oct 1, 2016, "Medicare and the Marketplace"

Medicare Terminology

Annual Notice of Change - A letter sent by your Medicare Ad-vantage Plan insurance company that informs you of changes to your ben-efits for 2017. It is included in a big package of material, mailed around the first of October.

Coinsurance - The amount you may be required to pay as your share of the cost for ser-vices after your deductible is reached. Coinsurance is usually a percentage (for example, 20%)

Copayment - The amount you may be required to pay as your share of the cost for a medical service or supply, like a doc-tor’s visit, hospital outpatient visit, or prescription. A copayment is usually a set amount, rather than a percentage. For example, you might pay $10 or $20 for a doctor’s visit or prescription.

Deductible - The amount you must pay for health care or prescriptions before Medicare, your prescription drug plan or your other insurance begins to pay.

Drug Formulary - A list of prescription drugs covered by a prescription drug plan or another insurance plan offering prescription drug benefits.

Out-of-Pocket Maximum - The yearly out-of-pocket maximum is the highest or total amount your health insurance company requires you to pay toward the cost of your health care.

Premium - The periodic payment to Medicare, an insurance company or a health care plan for health or prescription drug coverage.

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