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Medicare enrollment changes keep seniors from switching to Medicare Advantage after Dec. 7



Senior Care Plus is concerned that many Medicare-eligible beneficiaries are unaware of recent health care reform changes that will impact their opportunity to select private health insurance for next year.

The Medicare annual enrollment period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, with an effective date of Jan. 1, 2012. During the period Medicare-eligible beneficiaries can sign up or make changes to their current coverage, including choosing a Medicare managed care plan (Medicare Advantage or stand-alone prescription drug plans).

In years past, Medicare has allowed eligible beneficiaries to make a second change to their coverage between Jan. 1 and March 31, called the open enrollment period. Health care reform has eliminated the open enrollment period and substituted it with an annual disenrollment period, which allows Medicare-eligible beneficiaries to disenroll from Medicare Advantage plans and revert back to traditional (fee-for-service) Medicare and/or elect a stand-alone prescription drug plan.

Many Medicare-eligible beneficiaries may wait until it is too late to enroll in managed care plans. These plans offer more cost savings and benefits than traditional (fee-for-service) Medicare. Senior Care Plus wants to educate the public about the change and cut down on possible beneficiary confusion and frustration.

“After Dec. 7, members will be locked in to their plans until next year’s annual enrollment period,” said Matt Ladich, director of government programs for Hometown Health. “Medicare Advantage plans can offer greater medical, prescription drug and supplemental benefits in one plan with one insurance carrier versus other arrangements – this allows for lower costs and convenience to the beneficiary.”

For more information about Medicare’s annual enrollment period, please visit seniorcareplus.com or call 775-982-3158 or toll-free 888-775-7003.

Senior Care Plus, a product of Hometown Health Plan, Inc. is contracted with the federal government to offer a Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage, available to anyone with both Medicare Parts A and B. Hometown Health is pleased to have been awarded another contract with Medicare for 2012 and will continue to offer its plans for a 16th year. Members must be residents of Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Lyon, Storey and Washoe counties and continue to pay their Medicare Part B premiums.

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