Behind the Scenes: Medicare Annual Enrollment

For most Life Care Planning Law Firms, things can get pretty crazy during Medicare's annual open enrollment, which happens between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7 every year. During this hectic time, public benefits specialists are on the front lines helping clients make the most of Medicare and other senior health benefits.

One of the advantages of working with a Life Care Planning Law Firm is having an experienced Medicare specialist serving as your insurance counselor. Annual open enrollment isn’t the only time these seasoned professionals are standing by to assist. They are there to help clients manage the different enrollment periods that take place throughout the year. They are there to help clients make sense of Medicare’s labyrinthine rules. And they are there to help new-to-Medicare 65-year-olds understand the decisions they have to make and the pros and cons of the various options.

One of the most valuable services public benefits specialists provide involves helping clients determine whether they are getting the best deal on Medicare Part D, their drug coverage. They encourage everyone to take a look at their Part D coverage every year. Some clients get their drug coverage through Medicare Part D and others get it through a different type of plan, called a Part C, or Medicare Advantage Plan. A public benefits specialist isn't an insurance salesperson; they can only give information about Advantage Plans. They can’t sign people up. But since Part D isn’t health insurance, and if clients are opting for the traditional Medicare with a supplement and a Part D, the public benefits specialist can help them select a different Part D plan or decide to remain on the Part D plan they're already on.

When it comes to checking Part D coverage during annual open enrollment every year, you'll find that most public benefits are adamant. Plans change every year, and a plan that covered your medication one year may not cover it the next year. Premiums and co-pays are also likely to change from one year to the next. Even if your medicines don't change, the amount you end up paying could change. And many people have medication changes throughout the year, which is another reason to check.

One of the benefits of working with an expert is saving money, which is important to seniors on a fixed income. Public benefits specialists in Life Care Planning Law Firms across the country have saved people as much as $20,000 in a year simply by checking their drug plans.

Though some seniors are resistant to switching drug plans, nearly everyone comes around when they learn about the potential savings. If you work with a public benefits specialist in a Life Care Planning Law Firm, consider yourself fortunate; they do the analysis for you. They will use the Medicare.gov website to look up the drug plans, put your medications in the comparison tool, and then print out the cost comparison worksheet. If there’s not much of a difference in cost and you really like the plan you're on, it's fine to stay where you are. But if the difference is $20 per month or more, you'll probably want to make the change. If you want to keep more money in your pocket, it's the right thing to do.

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