As the season changes and kids head back to school and life falls back into routine, I’m taking a moment to revaluate my own to-do list. At the top of my list is a review of my Medicare Advantage plan. Once upon a time, this task would leave me feeling overwhelmed and lost, but since choosing ClareMedica as my primary care provider this process has become a breeze, primarily thanks to the Medicare Specialists they have available.
Through ClareMedica, I’ve become friends with a lovely and very knowledgeable person - Claudia Delgado. Claudia has spent the past 15 years working as a Medicare insurance specialist, connecting people with the right resources. With open enrollment starting October 15, I thought she would be an excellent candidate to interview for my blog. Claudia’s primary focus is to educate clients so that they can make informed decisions, here’s what Claudia wants you to know to get started…
What is Open Enrollment?
Open enrollment (also known as the Annual Enrollment Period) is a window of opportunity for those of us on Medicare and those who may be enrolled in a Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plan along with a Medicare Supplement program to review our plans and ensure we have access to the services we need. If your health needs have changed you may need to enroll in a new plan, now is the time to do it. If there are no changes, then you don’t have to do anything except review your plan information and make sure the information is correct.
When does Open Enrollment start?
Open Enrollment starts on October 15 and closes on December 7.
What is the difference between Medicare and Medicare Advantage?
For those of us over 65 or who are disabled, we know that Medicare is government-funded and provides a basic level of health care services. Medicare is a fee for service program, this means that you pay a portion of the cost for the medical services received and Medicare covers the rest. Regular Medicare does not involve any insurance companies.
Medicare Advantage is the addition of insurance companies working together with government programming to provide seniors with more health care services and wider choice of providers. This also means a lot more information to sift through and believe me, it is easy to get confused. Thankfully, Claudia helped me break it down.
With a Medicare Advantage plan you’ll get the same coverage as you would with regular Medicare and more, with potentially little or no co-pay. Under a Medicare Advantage plan your doctor will have access to a wide range of additional service providers to refer you to for your specific health care needs. And, if you love your primary care physician, don’t worry, you won’t have to change.
Why is Open Enrollment important?
We review our home and auto insurance and financial plans annually– it’s equally as important to do it for your health too. Claudia says it’s smart to review your personal health care plan and make sure that it is still serving your needs. Plus, Medicare Advantage plan partners are always working to improve and change plans from year to year, so there could be even more savings waiting for you with a review and update.
How do I know which plan to choose?
Call and ask! ClareMedica has dedicated Medicare specialists, who can help you with your questions regarding the Medicare program in general. What I love most is that they are ClareMedica employees and not affiliated with a specific insurance plan partner. They have detailed knowledge about ALL the plan partners that ClareMedica works with and can help me review my needs to find the Medicare Plan partner that is the best for my situation. The ClareMedica Medicare specialist is really working for me!
Claudia was kind enough to agree to help me out with a series of posts; this one covers just the basics. Stay in touch for more, and remember, if there is something specific you’d like me to ask Claudia or any of the ClareMedica team of providers, please send me a note.
When Claudia began her career in the insurance industry over 15 years ago, she quickly realized how confusing it could be to navigate as a customer - particularly when most are first accessing their insurance in a time of need.
After years of helping customers work toward better outcomes and healthier experiences, Claudia was motivated to dedicate her time and share her wealth of knowledge to educate communities about life, health, and wellness plans.
Today, she leverages her experience and stays informed through the broad network of providers and partners she has built solid relationships with, in turn, sharing that information with her customers to help them make smart health and wellness choices.