WASHINGTON--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Today is the first day of Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment season, which runs until Dec. 7. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) encourages all people with Medicare to review their plan options and make an informed decision about their 2014 coverage.
“This year is very unique, so it is more important than ever for people with Medicare to understand and review their options”
This year's Open Enrollment coincides with two other events that may be confusing to people with Medicare—the federal government shutdown and the Oct. 1 opening of the Health Insurance Marketplace.
As of today, the first day of Medicare Open Enrollment, the federal government is still shut down. As a result, it is not clear whether the Medicare.gov website is being updated with the latest plan information.
Also, Oct. 1 was the first day individuals could enroll in the new Health Insurance Marketplace, created by the Affordable Care Act. Some people with Medicare are unsure whether the Marketplace applies to them.
“This year is very unique, so it is more important than ever for people with Medicare to understand and review their options,” said Leslie Fried, director of NCOA’s National Center for Benefits Outreach & Enrollment.
“First, people with Medicare should know that the Health Insurance Marketplace is not for them, and they do not need to enroll in a Marketplace plan. Second, they should start to shop and compare Medicare drug plans now, but not purchase one until the government shutdown ends and all drug plan information is updated.”
Medicare Open Enrollment is the time of year when everyone with Medicare can join or change their health and prescription drug plans for the coming year. Because there are a number of plans to choose from, and cost and coverage varies from plan to plan, it’s critical for them to review their current coverage and shop around for the plan that best fits their health needs and budget.
NCOA offers several tips and resources to help people with Medicare navigate Medicare Open Enrollment 2013, including what they need to know about the Health Insurance Marketplace, how to select a plan, and ways to avoid scams. All resources can be found at ncoa.org/Medicare2013.
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for millions of older adults—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit: www.ncoa.org |www.facebook.com/NCOAging | www.twitter.com/NCOAging