Medicare Open Enrollment is the time of year when beneficiaries can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for the following year. Each year Medicare Open Enrollment runs from October 15-December 7. The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) encourages you to consider reviewing your Medicare drug or health care plan, and/or assist your loved ones in reviewing theirs. You can use the materials provided in NHCOA’s Medicare Open Enrollment toolkit to assist you in reviewing your options in order to find the coverage that best meets your needs. However, if you and your loved ones are satisfied with your current health plan, no action or change is required.
Medicare is health insurance for people 65 years or older. The U.S. Federal government provides this health care service from revenue collected through payroll taxes. If you’ve paid into Social Security and Medicare for 10 years as an employee, you are most likely eligible for Medicare benefits.
Following the three C’s is a good criterion to keep in mind when reviewing your current plan and making the decision whether or not to make changes.
Cost: Evaluate your current health care costs and find the coverage that works with your budget.
Coverage: It’s important that the services and care you will need in the coming year are covered by the plan you choose.
Convenience: Make sure the plan you choose fits your lifestyle.
Be informed. Making changes to a Medicare plan is a personal choice based on each beneficiary’s health needs and preferences. No one should pressure beneficiaries to make a decision that they are not comfortable with. In fact, soliciting or pressuring seniors to switch or change their Medicare drug or health care plan is against the law.
Consequently, NHCOA also encourages Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers to be aware of potential scams during Medicare Open Enrollment and join the efforts of the National Hispanic SMP program. The NHSMP is dedicated to helping Latino seniors across the country protect, detect, and report Medicare fraud. To learn more about the National Hispanic SMP, visit NHCOA’s website: www.nhcoa.org/medicare or call 1-866-488-7379.
The best way to compare and review Medicare plans is by using the Medicare Plan Finder, an online comparison tool available at www.Medicare.gov, or by calling toll-free 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633 4227).
NHCOA, a founding member of the Diverse Elders Coalition, is the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers. For information, visit www.nhcoa.org.
El Consejo Nacional Hispano para Personas Adultas Mayores (NHCOA) es la organización nacional que trabaja para mejorar las condiciones de vida de los adultos mayores hispanos, sus familias y cuidadores. Para mayor información, visite www.nhcoa.org.