Michigan Physicians Offer Seniors, Families Tips on Medicare Open Enrollment Period

As a public service, I am presenting the following release from the Michigan State Medical Society.

LANSING –Michigan State Medical Society President Steven Newman, MD, and physicians across the state today offered seniors and families several simple tips to help them get the most from their health care plan during Medicare’s open enrollment period.

Open enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries began on October 15 and will run until December 7.

“Every year, Medicare beneficiaries across Michigan have the opportunity to update their plans and coverage through the Medicare program,” said Newman.  “Open enrollment and managing one’s health care benefits can sometimes feel like a complicated process, but with a few simple tips, seniors and families can ensure they receive the coverage that they need at the best possible price.”

Simple tips to help seniors and families during Medicare’s open enrollment period include:

  1. Make sure that your physician still accepts your Medicare plan.  Seeing an out-of-network provider could lead to unexpected medical bills that families must pay out-of-pocket.
  2. Ensure that medications you are currently taking are covered by your plan.  Be sure to consult the list of approved drugs provided in each health care plan’s booklet.
  3. Be aware of your plans’ policies concerning prior authorization and step therapy that oftentimes require physicians to obtain approval from your insurance company before covering certain prescription drugs or therapies.
  4. Ask about co-payments and deductibles you will be responsible for out-of-pocket to better estimate the full cost of each plan you are considering.
  5. Read your plan thoroughly.  If you have any questions about what you are reading, contact the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

More information about Medicare’s open enrollment period can be found online at www.medicare.gov/open-enrollment/index.html.

The Michigan State Medical Society is a professional association of more than 16,000 Michigan physicians.  Its member physicians are working in Lansing and Washington, D.C. to preserve Medicare access for Michigan seniors.

The Michigan State Medical Society’s mission is to promote a health care environment which supports physicians in caring for, and enhancing the health of Michigan citizens through science, quality, and ethics in the practice of medicine.  Additional information can be found at www.msms.org.

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