Hospital Helping with Medicare Part D Open Enrollment
Posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009
Open enrollment for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans is from November 15 through December 31.
Participants may change plans now for 2010. Changes generally cannot be made again until the next open enrollment a year from now.
Volunteer enroller Don Sessions, Falconhead, recommends that all participants go through a new plan search every year at this time.
The reason: “Certain insurance companies may be charging more for premiums and co-pays and dropping coverage of some drugs. Also, the drugs a person is taking may have changed during the year. Either way, without reviewing plans during open enrollment, people risk paying hundreds of dollars more than they should.”
Sessions, who is a volunteer enroller through the State Insurance Department’s senior health insurance counseling program, is available to assist any Love County participant at no charge.
He can be contacted through Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic, Marietta Pharmacy, Department of Human Services, Love County Health Department, Big 5 RSVP Seniors organization or by calling him at 276-2333.
All of these organizations have been assisting Love County seniors with Medicare Part D since the program started in 2006. Sessions' volunteer licensure is sponsored by the hospital.
Sessions said the biggest changes for 2010 appear to be in the Well Care Classic plan that for several years has been a popular choice for people taking only generic drugs. The plan has raised co-pays on generics from $-0- in 2009 to $4 in 2010 and applies a $310 deductible to generics in 2010. There was no deductible for generics in 2009. “Anyone in Well Care Classic needs to reassess their choice before December 31,” Sessions said.
He conducts plan searches through the Medicare website’s “Plan Finder” tool, matching a participant’s current prescription list against the covered drugs and costs associated with the 40 or so plans in Oklahoma.
“Most people save money be being in a plan, but the process for plan finding is way too complicated, and you need to re-do the enrollment analysis every year to stay ahead of the insurance companies,” he said.
He helped about 150 participants during last year’s open enrollment.