Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) begins October 15th and extends through December 7th. You will find that there are many ways to sign up for your 2020 plan. You can enroll online, enroll over the phone, have a non-insurance person help you enroll or you can enroll in your plan through a local insurance agent that is certified to offer Medicare plans.
If you want to deal directly with a particular insurance company you can do that online or over the phone. All insurance companies now have a website and toll free number to call. Some people feel as though they need help in choosing a plan. They will call on a friend, family member or non-insurance person to help them. All three of these methods are perfectly acceptable under Medicare guidelines. If you choose to enroll without the help of an insurance agent it will be up to you to read and understand the plan’s summary of benefits, assure that the doctors, hospitals and pharmacies you want to use are in the plan’s network and make sure your drugs are covered on the plan’s drug formulary.
There’s an important question you’ll want to ask yourself; “If I have a problem with my plan can the person helping me enroll go to the insurance company on my behalf to help me solve it?” If the answer is “no” then you will be on your own to deal with the company. Your local insurance agent must be appointed by the company they enroll you with. Therefore, if you have a problem with your plan the agent that enrolled you can go to the company on your behalf. Next week we will look specifically at the value of a local agent and how an agent earning a commission can actually be a good thing for you!!
If you have questions regarding any aspect of Medicare or Medicare health plans feel free call us at Alabama Health Guidance (256-648-5710), stop by our office at 885 Florence Blvd (Four Lane Shopping Center) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.