Connect One Health reminds seniors that the 2015 Open Enrollment season has begun. This is the time to evaluate your current health insurance plan and also to compare the benefits of other plans. Each you, seniors should, at the very least, evaluate the changes to their current plan. In so doing, seniors help identify spikes in cost and decreases in covered services.
Open Enrollment and Special Enrollment Periods
While the Medicare Open Enrollment period ended on December 7, 2014, it will appear again starting on October 15, 2015 and will run through December 7, 2015. Changes made during that period will take effect January 1, 2016. If you need to make changes to your Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan, you should contact Connect One Health. There are special enrollment periods that you might qualify for, and if so, Medicare will allow you to make changes to your health insurance coverage.
Examples of Special Enrollment Period (SEP)
Things that affect your health care coverage that are outside of your control create a situation where you become eligible for a SEP. A good example would be a senior who receives both Medicare and Medicaid, but loses their eligibility for Medicaid. In that case, Medicare allows you to sign up for new services. The senior may add Medicare Part A and B, or opt for Medicare Part C. Additionally, the loss of Medicaid might also mean eligibility for a new Medicare Part D prescription drug policy.
Loss of Coverage
Sometimes, seniors opt for coverage through their employer that is equal to Medicare Part B, or Medicare Part D. If that coverage should end, seniors can sign up for Part B or add a Prescription Drug plan approved through Medicare part D. As a general rule, seniors who have employer or union sponsored Medicare-approved health benefits, should check with either their employer or union to make sure that coverage will extend through the year. Medicare will assess penalties if seniors are without complete health coverage. In the case of the penalties for Part B, those fees never go away. So it pays to check.
Another common reason for a SEP is if seniors move. That may mean moving from one part of the state to another or even to another state. It may also mean moving from your home into a care facility. If you move out of state and your current plan does not provide coverage in the area where you have moved, you may make changes to your health insurance. If you move to a healthcare facility, such as an assisted living facility or skilled nursing facility you may also be allowed to change plans.
Medicare offers a lot of reasons that qualify seniors for a Special Enrollment Period. If you have questions about whether or not your situation qualified for a SEP, just call Connect One Health. We offer free information for seniors who have questions about Medicare Plans, Medicare Advantage Plans, Supplemental Plan, and Prescription Drug Plans.