Do Medicare Participants Know Open Enrollment Period Has Changed? No.

A recent study showed that only 37% of Medicare participants knew that the AEP (Annual Enrollment Period) had changed. It now closes on 12/7 not 12/31. That could cost people money if they don’t review their ANOCs (Annual Notification of Changes) and take action.

Another article in US News & World report emphasizes that with some comments from Silverlink’s Chief Medical Officer (Dr. Jan Berger):

Berger breaks down the Medicare coverage decision into five steps, all of which are addressed in the annual statement:

1. What are the primary financial implications of your plan for 2012, including the premium, annual deductible, and co-pays?

2. How well does the plan accommodate your preferred medical providers? Are your doctors participating in the plan? Your preferred hospital?

3. What are the costs and availability of your medications in the plan?

4. How convenient is the plan in geographic terms? Are the participating doctors, medical facilities, and pharmacies nearby and easy for you to get to?

5. What is the star rating of your health plan, and how does it compare with other plans offered in your service area? Quality ratings of health plans ranging from one star (worst) to five stars (best) are relatively new. Medicare has been emphasizing them, and the health reform law has provisions that will penalize plans for substandard rankings. The current star rating process will go live on Medicare’s website on October 12, an agency spokesman says.

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