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02 Dec

Quick tips for Medicare Enrollment

The end of open enrollment for Medicare is right around the corner – December 7! While I am personally nowhere near the enrollment age for Medicare, I know it is always a hot topic in the news, especially this time of year.  As beneficiaries review their options for 2016, there are a few aspects they should pay extra attention to:

Check your Part B Premiums for Increases
An October AARP Bulletin report found that Medicare Part B premiums will increase as much as 52 percent for seven million enrollees – from $104.90 per month to $159.30. What’s to blame? COLA and I am not referring to the kind you drink, but rather the Social Security cost-of-living adjustments.

Pay Close Attention to Your Part D Coverage
We’ve all done it, skimmed through important documents just to get to the finish line AKA the signature line. Well while I advise you slow down and read all of your health insurance forms, you should at least make sure to pay extra attention to Part D – drug coverage.

According to Alpine North Insurance Agency, many companies use a claim-based system for determining prospection drug costs and coverage. So if you’re on a medication that has a large number of claims, it may end up moving into a tier with higher copays.
Focus on the Quality of the Network, not the Price!
Like with any purchase, consumers look for what or who offers the best price. In the sense of Medicare plans, consumers should focus less on the price and more on the network. Look to see if a plan’s network offers quality providers or at least a provider that you use or would want to use.

Don’t Rely on Snail Mail for Information
When open enrollment season for Medicare kicked-off, companies no doubt quickly sent out brochures about their Medicare plans. That influx of mail can be overwhelming and probably not as helpful as you’d think. Instead, check with your State Health Insurance Assistance Program for guidance. You can also view your options via the plan finder at

If you're a Medicare beneficiary, what tips can you share about going through the enrollment process?

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