Let St. Joseph Hoag Health Guide You Through Open Enrollment
If you’re 65 or older, it’s almost time to take stock of your health care coverage needs. Medicare open enrollment runs from October 15 through December 7, 2019, during this period, you’re able to make the following important decisions:
• You can change from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or vice versa. With Original Medicare, the government pays directly for health care costs you incur, but your out-of-pocket costs can be costly.[CL1] With Medicare Advantage, you have the same level of coverage as Original Medicare as well as options such as vision care, hearing aids, routine dental care, prescription drug coverage, and fitness center membership (check the plan to confirm). However, you’ll need to see a doctor within a specific network.
• You may switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another or from one Medicare Part D plan (for prescription drugs) to another.
• If you didn’t enroll in a Medicare Part D plan when you became eligible for Medicare, you could do it during open enrollment. A late fee may apply.
Here are some tips on making smart decisions:
Know your options
When choosing a Medicare plan, consider annual deductible, prescription drug co-pays, out-of-pocket costs, and coverage options. Also review the plan’s customer ratings, both for convenience and satisfaction with the doctors and care provided.
Make sure your doctors are available
Even if you’re not planning on switching plans, doctors can change each year. Make sure your favorite St. Joseph Hoag Health providers are still available under your plan. If they aren’t and you want to access their care, you could end up with hefty out-of-network fees. You can find out who is in which plan by calling your doctor’s office.
Know that Medicare is not your employer’s health plan
Many people think that Medicare is similar to their old workplace insurance. Unfortunately, it’s more complicated at first, and if you don’t choose certain elements, such as Part D, you may incur a penalty if you want it later on.
The good news is you don’t have to make Medicare decisions on your own. St. Joseph Hoag Health, Orange County’s most trusted health care network, provides extensive resources and information about your Medicare options. You don’t even have to be a current patient to take advantage of our offerings:
• Seminar: Attend one of our conveniently located meetings throughout open enrollment where representatives from our partner health plans will discuss 2020 benefits. Find a complete schedule of meetings at sjhh.org/medicare.
• Phone: Speak with a trusted, independent licensed agent about your Medicare options. After Oct. 15, you’ll even be able to enroll in coverage right over the phone.
• 1:1 Meeting: Call (855) 670-1938 to schedule a personal appointment and a licensed agent will review plans with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
• Online: Compare our contracted health plans’ 2020 benefits online by visiting our website at sjhh.org/medicare.
All these options are at no cost to you and will help guide you in making the best Medicare choices for your 2020 coverage. To get started and to RSVP for our meetings, visit sjhh.org/medicare or call (855) 670-1938.