By LOIS KINDLE
Seniors take note: Open enrollment for folks new to Medicare or those already covered by it will take place Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, you can make changes to your Medicare supplement, Advantage Plan or Part D coverage.
If you don’t like certain aspects of the choice you made last year, now is the time to make a switch.
But before you do, it’s important to become fully informed about the seemingly endless array of coverage plans that are available and which ones best suit your medical needs and financial situation.
It’s an important decision. The quality of your healthcare is on the line.
Medicare specialist Marcie Maisonet partners each year with Payant Insurance Solutions in Sun City Center to offer a series of seminars designed to help folks navigate the daunting maze of choices out there. And even if you already enrolled in a plan you’re happy with, it’s wise to find out if there have been any changes in coverage.
Although she’s thoroughly versed on both Advantage Plans and supplements, Maisonet said she highly recommends the latter to those who “desire richer benefits, things like zero-deductibles, no networks and no referrals.”
Because she’s an insurance broker, Maisonet can offer all major carriers, not just one, and she can show and discuss comparative coverages. Most of the meetings or seminars you’ll soon see advertised in the area will be for one carrier.
Maisonet will meet with you personally, by appointment, to discuss your insurance needs and help you find the coverage that best fits your budget. There is no charge for this service.
“There are supplements available for every financial situation,” she said. “There are ‘Cadillac’ plans that cover everything Medicare approves, and others offering varying benefits that still provide a level of security that Advantage Plans don’t.”
“People who have few or no medical needs find managed plans attractive,” Maisonet said. “But when a major medical situation presents itself, a comprehensive Medicare supplement is your best option because it provides freedom of access to doctors and hospitals, requires no referrals for specialists and includes expanded treatment options.”
When you sign up for an Advantage Plan, she noted, you become a client of the insurance company offering it. Although each is required by Medicare to offer specific benefits, you are subject to the terms of its policy, such as a provider and hospital network, deductibles and co-pays.
Medicare A through N supplements are offered by many carriers, and Maisonet is familiar with them all. The optimal coverage plan, Medicare F, will be going away by January 2020, and those who are currently enrolled will be grandfathered in.
“If you want it, I strongly recommend signing up now,” Maisonet said. “Once you are enrolled you’re locked into the issue-age bracket forever.”
For example, if you sign up when you’re first eligible you pay the premium for that age class even 25 or 30 years from now.
Tom and Robin Payant will host informational seminars presented by Maisonet on the following dates and times:
• Oct. 1, 10 a.m., Payant Financial Plaza, 1653 Sun City Center Plaza, Sun City Center
• Oct. 8, 10 a.m., Payant Financial Plaza, 1653 Sun City Center Plaza, Sun City Center
• Oct. 22, 2 p.m., Payant Financial Plaza, 1653 Sun City Center Plaza, Sun City Center
• Oct. 29, 10 a.m., Payant Financial Plaza, 1653 Sun City Center Plaza, Sun City Center
• Nov. 12, 10 a.m., Payant Financial Plaza, 1653 Sun City Center Plaza, Sun City Center
To reserve a seat at any of these seminars, call 813-634-7001. Appointments for free consultations may be made anytime after Oct. 1 by calling the same number.