By LOIS KINDLE
Anyone needing to sign up for Medicare coverage or wanting to change their existing plan can do so during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. If you’re new to Medicare, you can choose original Medicare coverage and a supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan.
If you already have any of the above, the open enrollment window offers you the opportunity to reevaluate your coverage and make any changes, if desired.
As is usually the case, there are changes this year you need to be aware of, annual premium increases for both Medicare A and B (hospitalization and physician coverage) and Part D drug coverage.
And since Medicare Advantage Plans are offered by insurance companies, depending on which one you have or choose, there are sure to be changes there, as well.
Confused? You’re not alone.
While it seems you need a degree in rocket science to understand original Medicare and the 11 supplements or hundreds of advantage plans available in Florida, guidance is available.
As she does every year in Sun City Center, Medicare specialist Marcie Maisonet will offer free workshops aimed at helping you choose the right coverage for your financial situation and medical needs. It’s an opportunity to become informed about the plethora of coverage plans and ask questions.
For example, Maisonet will discuss the differences between Medicare supplements and Medicare Advantage plans.
“Medicare supplements offer the most comprehensive coverage to offset original Medicare deductibles and co-insurance,” she said. “You can see any doctor or go to any hospital in the country you choose.
“Monthly premiums range in price from $50 per month to around $200,” Maisonet continued. “The younger you are at the time you enroll, the less you will pay, and your policy renews year after year with no coverage changes.”
Medicare Advantage plans are quite different.
“They may cost less monthly, but coverage can change every year.” Maisonet said. “They’re not guaranteed renewable, and you may need to use providers who belong to their specific network.”
The workshops can be followed up with free in-person or virtual consultations with Maisonet, who will assist you in signing up for whatever you choose.
Here are the remaining seminar dates:
Oct. 20, 10 a.m. at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W.
Oct. 21, 10 a.m. – Kings Point North Clubhouse, 1900 Clubhouse Lane
Oct. 26, 10 a.m. – Payant Financial Plaza, 1653 Sun City Center Plaza. Publix gift cards will be given to all attendees.
Nov. 11, 10 a.m. – United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W.
Refreshments will be offered at all four workshops.
RSVP by calling 813-634-7001 and stating which seminar you plan to attend.