WASHINGTON, DC—Medicare Open Enrollment for 2019 Medicare health and drug plans began on October 15, 2018 and ends December 7, 2018. Beneficiaries have more plans to choose from than ever, with 600 more plans available across the country next year. Starting in 2019, plans have new discretion to offer a broader array of supplemental benefits.
With new options and new plan benefits available in some markets, and because plan costs and covered benefits can change from year to year, Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to review their coverage to see if they can find something that’s a better fit for their budget or health needs.
Medicare.gov now includes several new tools – part of the agency’s eMedicare initiative – to help people review and compare their coverage options, including a cost calculator to compare general costs under Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage and to help people decide what makes sense for their needs based on what plans are available in their area. eMedicare provides an online healthcare experience to meet the growing expectations for this generation of Medicare beneficiaries by enhancing digital opportunities; offering additional self-serve options; and creating a seamless multi-channel customer service experience.
“During Medicare Open Enrollment this year, beneficiaries have more plan choices than ever and new eMedicare tools to help them take a look at their coverage to decide if they want to make a change,” said Administrator Seema Verma. “I encourage Medicare beneficiaries and their families to take an active approach to making sure you understand your options under Medicare and to choosing the highest value option for their individual needs.”
“Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to do their research during open enrollment,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “Consider the 4 “C’s”: cost, coverage, convenience, and customer service. In addition to premiums, find out how much your drugs or services will cost under the plan, whether the plan covers the drugs and services you’re currently using, if the plan’s network of health care providers is convenient to where you live, and check the plan’s star ratings on their performance.”
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
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