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Medicare recipients should review their plan with free counselor before Dec. 7



Published: Wed, November 14, 2012 @ 10:21 p.m.

One woman sought help with Medicare open enrollment and will save more than $1,000 next year in prescription-drug costs.

A counselor saved another Medicare recipient $800 in prescription-drug costs by changing plans.

The message: The results may not be typical, as the weight-loss ads say, but it’s worthwhile for Medicare recipients to check their current plan to see if they can do better in coverage and/or costs, say counselors offering free services.

The annual Medicare open-enrollment window, which began Oct. 15, ends Dec. 7.

For those inundated with information who perhaps threw up their hands and decided it was easier to stay with their current plan than investigate what else is out there, there is still time to get a free benefits check-up.

The lady will save more than $1,000 by switching plans, said Jennifer Adams, long-term care consultant with Area Agency on Aging 11, because the premium on her current plan was going to almost double and her medications co-pays were higher.

“Cost savings is the first reason to do a benefits check-up because each and every year insurance companies change the plans they offer and premiums and deductible may change,” said Adams, a certified Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program counselor.

It is also critically important to check plan benefits if the Medicare recipient has developed a new medical condition or changed medications or doctors, a specialist for instance, to determine if the condition and medications are covered and if the new doctor is a network member.

For more on this story, read Thursday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.


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