The next few months will be to insurance agents what tax season is to income tax preparers. It is the busy time of the year in our business.
Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) began Thursday, Oct. 15 for those who have Medicare. The AEP runs through Dec. 7. It is a time to change or renew you Part D drug plan and also a time when you can change Medicare Advantage plans or switch back to Original Medicare and replace your MA plan with a Medigap plan.
Don’t assume your existing drug plan is the best one for you. Take the time to get assistance from your insurance agent or someone else who helps seniors update drug plans. I have helped numerous seniors by calling Medicare.gov, listing their medications and having the individual on the other end of the phone assess what are the best three plans for them.
I saved one couple $5,000 by making the call. I had met with them in September to do a plan for the wife’s mother, who moved from the Bay Area to a Carson City rest home. She was guaranteed issue, so I was able to do a Medigap plan for her and also did a new drug plan that would have cost $800 total, had she had it for the entire year.
As I was leaving, I told them I needed to come back during AEP because plans change. When I came back, they said “this is working well. Why don’t we just keep this?’’ We checked and three of her drugs were dropped from her existing plan. What was $800 a year cost would have turned into $5,500 a year expense. We were able to find a plan, by calling Medicare, that covered all of her drugs for just $500 a year. The difference amounted to more than $400 a month in savings.
So don’t assume. Make the call to 1-800-633-4227 (1-800-MEDICARE). Have your list of drugs taken with you when you call.
As far as health plans go for those not on Medicare, the annual re-enrollment period for major medical begins Nov. 1 and runs through Jan. 31. We are in the process of setting appointments to either re-enroll or enroll clients in a qualified healthcare plan for 2016. We can do plans either on the exchanges in both Nevada and California or off the exchanges in both states.
For information, call us at Affordable Healthcare Pros at 775-450-6769, 775-224-7169, 775-450-6867, 775-450-7754 or call our office at 775-883-3414.
You can also call one of our two Southern Nevada lines – 702- 721-3657 or 702-721-3810. Our office is located at 2307 N. Carson Street in Carson City, but we help clients throughout Nevada and California.
Ron Bliss is a former long-time sports writer who has been doing health insurance since 2009. He is certified on both Covered California and the Nevada Health Link and can sell products on and off both exchanges. Affordable Healthcare Pros also offers a variety of dental plans to include dental-vision-hearing plans in both states, as well as a wide variety of Medicare supplements and other health supplemental products to include critical illness, short-term care, plans to cover in-home or nursing home costs, injury and hospital indemnity policies.
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