Medicare enrollment deadline looms

It's in the news almost every day and it's on the minds of most seniors in the Downey area. It's Medicare, and starting on October 15 and continuing through December 7th, it's the annual open enrollment period for seniors to select their benefits that will take effect January 1st, 2013.Having a hard time understanding the confusing details in the budget debate about Medicare? You're not alone.There are more Medicare options today than ever before and it's important to make the right decision about your medical care benefits. How do you know where to start? "The best advice I can give is to do a comprehensive needs assessment about your current health status," added Michael Blea, general manager of Golden Outlook, an insurance agency that was founded in Downey 15 years ago and today features an easy access information kiosk in Downey at the CVS on Florence and Paramount. "I take the time to talk to seniors and together we discuss the type of medications, tests and other medical services that may be necessary next year. Once we get a handle on that, it's easier to make an informed decision about what health plan options are best for them. The good news is that with many health plan options available, seniors can find one that perfectly suits their needs." For 2013, there are some changes to the Medicare benefit program, including improvements added by health reform. Health reform changes may reduce the price of drugs for seniors with big drug bills who fall into the doughnut hole. Once drug expenses hit $2,970 in 2013, insurance coverage ceases until a person's out-of-pocket expenses reach $4,750. The health reform law has been reducing the cost of drugs inside the doughnut hole. For 2013, consumers must pay 52.5 percent of the cost of branded drugs and 79 percent of the cost of generic drugs. These percentages will decline in future years under the law. Because medication costs continue to rise, it's important to compare your Medicare benefits with those of other plans such as Medicare Advantage Plans. You could potentially save a lot of money in out of pocket costs. For more help, one option is to call Golden Outlook Insurance Services. They can help you review your healthcare options. For more information please call (877) 794-7957.

********** Published: November 29, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 33