Questions to go over with Medicare beneficiaries before the annual Medicare enrollment period ends

Open enrollment ends Dec. 7

HealthTexas gives advice on what to look for in Medicare coverage.

Have you looked over your Medicare coverage and plans for next year?

Once you know your status and budget, the next thing is to make sure the doctor you want specializes in Medicare and is in the network.

Time is ticking because the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) for 2022 ends on Dec. 7, 2021.

Dr. Kristi Clark, president and CEO of HealthTexas Primary Care Doctors, and Glenda Pope, sales director for UnitedHealthcare in San Antonio and Austin, explained what seniors should take into consideration while selecting Medicare coverage plans.

The ABCs (and D) of Medicare

  • Part A: Hospital insurance
  • Part B: Medical insurance
  • Part C/Medicare Advantage: Combines Parts A + B (often D as well) into one plan
  • Part D: Prescription drug coverage

What should I look for in Medicare Advantage Plan?

  • Look at that network, make sure your specialists are on your plan.
  • Look at the out-of-pocket cost.
  • Look at your prescription drug coverage.
  • Make sure the provider/doctor you’re choosing is experienced with Medicare plans.

Part C of Medicare combines Part A, Part B and Part C – is that why Medicare Advantage plans are so popular?

“I think that the simplicity and the ease of a Medicare Advantage plan are certainly attractive to people,” Clark said. “Many seniors also choose a Medicare Advantage plan because they save money -- you save a good amount of money. Medicare doesn’t cover all of your health expenses, and when it does, it covers that 80%. A lot of folks choose a Medicare Advantage plan because it limits how much they have to spend out of pocket. And that’s really important when you are on a fixed income. The other reason a lot of people enjoy the additional benefits that they get, for example, that you don’t get with traditional Medicare are things like hearing aids, even things like dentures, dental care, over-the-counter products like eyeglasses.”

What are some of the different UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage Plans available and the benefits associated with them?

“The Medicare plan you select can have a significant impact on your health and well-being,” Pope said. “Your Medicare coverage is set up to help ensure you have access to the care you need.”

1) Confirm your preferred doctors and hospitals are available through the plan you’re considering. Access to affordable, quality care is a big consideration when choosing a plan. Wherever you are, members pay network costs when seeing any of our more than 1 million network care providers.

2) Don’t forget about dental, vision and other benefits.

3) Make sure your medications are covered. Even if you don’t expect to change plans, it’s important to make sure the prescriptions you take regularly will still be covered next year.

4) Take advantage of wellness programs and other plan features that can support you in living a healthy life.

To learn more about HealthTexas, click or tap here. Watch the video above for additional information.