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Beacon of HOPE Wellness Committee: Are you getting the Medicare plan that’s right for you?

November 6, 2018
By Nancy Buthman, APRN (Special to The Eagle) , Pine Island Eagle

Medicare is the federal health insurance plan for those 65 and older. It is a wonderful benefit for seniors and it sounds simple enough. Under the plan there are many options to choose from, including Original Medicare, Medicare Supplement plans and Medicare Advantage plans. Medicare Part D provides prescription drug benefits. However, with so many choices it's easy to be confused and intimidated.

Whether you already participate in Medicare or you are just getting started, it's often easy to feel overwhelmed as you navigate the options. There are many questions. There are resources to help you including the Medicare website

Every fall each Medicare participant receives a communication from their plan explaining what is covered, what are the costs and any changes that are being made for the coming year. You need to review this document closely. Right now is the Open Enrollment period, which lasts until Dec. 7. This is the time when you can make changes to your plan or even change to another plan if you so wish. Don't put it off until the last minute.

Some questions to ask yourself as you review plan options: What type of benefits are you likely to need in the next year, including medication? Does the plan cover your preferred doctors or does that matter? Does your plan cover any services you need such as hearing, vision and dental? Are your drugs covered? How much will you pay for doctor's visits, premiums, deductibles or copays? As you compare the various benefits and costs, just remember that the lowest cost plan may not be the best for you depending on the services you are likely to use over the coming year.

There will be a class at the Beacon of HOPE Friday, Nov. 9, from10 a.m. to noon. The speaker will be Todd Van Oyan, who is with the UMC Medicare Store. Van Oyan will be there to give you information, explain things, and answer your questions. He will make individual appointments if needed. Please take advantage of this opportunity.

The class will be repeated again Monday, Nov. 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, at the Beacon.

For more information, call the Beacon of HOPE at 239-283-5123. The Beacon is located at 5090 Doug Taylor Circle, St James City.



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