Medicare Open Enrollment is here. This is the annual time period for seniors to select the Medicare Plan that will provide the majority of their health care coverage in the following year. During Open Enrollment, seniors can enroll for the first time, change plans and ask questions about the coverage being offered. The key to selecting the right Medicare Plan is to make an informed decision based on your own health care needs and the services provided by the plan.


As a senior, how do you know which plan is right for you? Is there a significant advantage in Florida of one Medicare Plan over another? Should you switch plans during Medicare Open Enrollment? What are the questions you should ask before you make your selection? These are just a few of the questions that our clients have recently asked us. We know choosing the right Medicare Plan for you can be difficult and want to share our information that can help you make the right decision this Medicare Open Enrollment period.


When it comes to your health care coverage, you need to candidly assess your health needs before you talk to a plan provider or start to research. Begin by making a comprehensive list that identifies your health needs, who your doctors are, and the medications you take. With this list in hand, you can evaluate the coverage in each plan and determine if what you need is offered by the plan you are considering.


After you have completed your checklist of needs, review your current coverage. Medicare Plans can change from year to year. For Florida seniors who have traditional Medicare coverage, you can review the Medicare & You handbook to determine the costs and benefits that will be available to you next year.  For Florida seniors who have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, you should have received an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) or Evidence of Coverage (EOC) statement from your provider. In some instances, you may have received both. Do not wait to review these documents and compare them not only to your coverage this year, but to your list of health care needs.


In all instances, it is important for you to remember that Medicare is an acute health care system. The support it provides includes, but is not limited to, assistance in paying for doctor visits, lab work, hospital stays and prescription drugs. It is not designed to pay for or support your long-term care needs.


Should you or a senior loved one need long-term care assistance at home, in an assisted living facility or a skilled nursing facility, Medicare is not designed to pay for one hundred percent of these costs. We are here to help you and your family find a way to pay for the Florida elder care you need, without losing all of your savings. Don’t wait to talk to us about the limitations of Medicare coverage in the long-term care setting, no matter what coverage you choose. You may call our office at 877-977-ELDER or contact us through our website to schedule an appointment.