From now until December 7, 2018 is the open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans. Some plans are offering new benefits to assist people in avoiding costly hospitalizations. For free help with Medicare Advantage and drug plan enrollment your can contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (www.shipacenter.org) or the Medicare Rights Center (800-333-4114 or www.medicareinteractive.org). Medicare’s Plan Finder can be found at www.medicare.gov/fin-a-plan/questions/home.aspx or by calling 800-633-4227. Always research the benefits of any plan before changing or signing up for a Medicare advantage plan. For the complete article, follow our link to NPR.org.
New Medicare Advantage Benefits Are Supposed To Help Seniors Stay Out Of The Hospital
By SUSAN JAFFE | NPR.org
For some older adults, private Medicare Advantage plans next year will include a host of new benefits, such as transportation to medical appointments, home-delivered meals, wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars, or air conditioners for asthma sufferers.
But the new benefits will not be widely available, and they won’t be easy to find, during this fall’s enrollment period.
Of the 3,700 plans across the country next year, only 273 in 21 states will offer at least one. About 7 percent of Advantage members — 1.5 million people — will have access, Medicare officials estimate.
That means even for the savviest shoppers it will be a challenge to figure out which plans offer the new benefits and who qualifies for them.
Medicare officials have touted the expansion as historic and an innovative way to keep seniors healthy and independent.
Despite that enthusiasm, a full listing of the new services are not available on Medicare’s web-based “plan finder,” the government tool used by beneficiaries, counselors and insurance agents to sort through dozens of plan options. Keeping reading.