Medicare Open Enrollment Resources and Information
This year's open enrollment period for Medicare is October 15th through December 7th. This is the time of year when you can change your health and prescription drug plans. Below are details about the open enrollment period as well as other resources that may be helpful if you have questions about Medicare. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also report a dramatic increase in fraudulent activities during the Medicare Open Enrollment period. If you are a Medicare recipient or know someone who is, please read the information on ways to identify and help prevent Medicare fraud. As always, please contact my office at 209-579-5458 if we can be of assistance to you with this or any other issue.
2012 MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT DATES:
October 15 – December 7
Medicare can assist you in choosing the plan that best meets your needs and can provide you with information, counseling and assistance in regards to plans and benefits. Seniors, family members and caregivers can ask questions and learn more about Medicare by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or by visiting Medicare’s website at www.medicare.gov.
Here are eight things you can do during Medicare open enrollment:
- Switch from Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to another Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to another Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
- Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- Drop your Medicare Prescription Drug coverage completely.
PROTECTING AGAINST MEDICARE FRAUD AND ABUSE
Here are some tips to help ensure that you and your benefits are protected:
- When you see the doctor or have a test or procedure, keep some simple notes on your calendar about what you had done.
- Then, when you get your claims information in the mail from Medicare, check the claims against your notes. Have a friend or loved one help you if needed.
- If you find an error, report it as soon as possible. You can report it to Medicare at (800) HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477), or online at www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.
- Protect your personal information by guarding your Medicare and Social Security Numbers. Treat them as you would treat your credit cards. If your Medicare card is lost or stolen, report it right away. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for a replacement.
- Be suspicious of free offers, especially if anyone offers you free medical equipment or services and requests your Medicare number. If it’s free, they do not need your number!
- Don’t hesitate to report any suspicious activity to the Office of the Inspector General at (800) HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477), or online at www.stopmedicarefraud.gov.