Delaying routine screenings? Medical expert advises patients to continue checkups with health care providers

Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare ends Dec. 7

Are you unsure about all the new changes with Medicare plans?

Dr. Victor Soria with WellMed answered some commonly asked questions regarding the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare.

An alarming percentage of Americans are delaying or putting off routine screenings like a mammogram for fear of getting COVID-19. Should they be afraid?

No. It’s estimated that 40% of Americans may be delaying treatment for chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. WellMed and others are working diligently to adhere to CDC guidelines to make sure clinics are safe and to offer alternative methods of care like curbside care and online video appointments.

What is AEP, and why is it important?

The Annual Enrollment Period is the time when you can make changes to your Medicare coverage. You can enroll, dis-enroll, or make changes to your Medicare coverage during this time. This year, AEP runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

What can Medicare patients do during AEP?

Switch from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan, switch Medicare Advantage plans, dis-enroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and return to original Medicare, enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan, switch Medicare prescription drug plans or dis-enroll from a Medicare prescription drug plan.

What questions should patients be asking themselves when choosing a doctor during this annual enrollment period?

  • How is the doctor compensated?
  • How often do they see patients?
  • What is the average time they spend with their patients?
  • How do they communicate and coordinate care with their patient’s other care teams, such as specialists and hospitalists?
  • How do they keep up to date and practice with the latest in medical advances and technology?

Schedule a time to speak with the doctor before you make your choice. You can also speak with a Medicare licensed sales agent who may have information about doctors in your community.

To learn more about WellMed, click here.