Don't Miss Out: Make the Most of Open Enrollment Period with Your Parents
This year, Medicare's annual enrollment period is from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.
As you visit family for the holidays, it's always essential to ensure your parents know how to enroll and change their Medicare benefits. The open enrollment period is a yearly opportunity that happens every fall, and it's when you can join, switch, or drop a health plan.
Make sure to take advantage of this time, so your parents can receive the coverage they need on January 1. Here we help you learn what to look for when reviewing health insurance options and helping your parents choose the best plan.
We know that navigating health insurance plans can be overwhelming. Still, when you take advantage of open enrollment and review all options, you can ensure your parents receive the best coverage. Don't miss out on this opportunity to review and change your health plan for the new year.
How Do You Enroll in Medicare?
If your parents are turning 65 and already receiving Social Security benefits, they will automatically receive Medicare Part A and Part B. They can also apply for Medicare three months before their 65th birthday or during the open enrollment period in the fall. You can enroll in Medicare through the Social Security Administration or online at www.medicare.gov. Your parents will either need to log in or create an account.
How to Pick the Best Options for Your Parents?
Look for options that include all necessary prescription drugs, have a good network of doctors and hospitals, and fit your budget. Look for plans that cover your current medical needs and consider potential future needs like specialty care or mental health services.
Medicare Part A and Part B, considered Original Medicare or Traditional Medicare, are traditional fee-for-service options, while Medicare Advantage plans are offered through private insurers and have set networks of providers.
Medicare Part A
Medicare Part A covers hospital visits, skilled nursing facilities, hospice care, and some home health care.
Medicare Part B
Medicare Part B covers preventive services like annual wellness exams screenings and vaccinations, as well as doctor visits and equipment like wheelchairs or walkers.
Keep in mind that Medicare Part A and B do not cover everything. Original Medicare does not cover long-term care, most dental care, eye exams for prescription glasses, dentures, cosmetic surgery, massage therapy, routine physical exams, hearing aids and fitting exams, or concierge care. It also does not cover services from opt-out providers except in cases of emergency or urgent need.
You can check to see if specific tests are covered by Medicare here: Your Medicare Coverage |
Medicare Part C
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, covers all services offered under Part A and Part B and some additional benefits like vision and dental care. These plans are administered by private insurers but still fall under the Medicare program.
Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D only covers prescription drugs.
Signing Up for Insurance
CHRISTUS Health Plan offers affordable health insurance plans for everyone. Part of the CHRISTUS Health System, we care for your health with regional hospitals and clinics you know. As a health insurance provider, CHRISTUS Health Plan offers plans that are affordable and simple.
You can also visit www.medicare.gov for more information about coverage options and how to enroll in Medicare during open enrollment.
Remember, it's always important to carefully review all options before making any decisions about health insurance. Make the most of open enrollment periods and ensure your parents receive the best coverage for their needs.