PHOENIX, Oct. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received a great deal of media coverage this summer and will continue to do so through the presidential election. With so much emphasis on the ACA, seniors may question whether or not any of the changes affect them or their Medicare plans. The answer is, "no." Medicare eligible seniors can take comfort knowing that Medicare generally remains unaffected.
As in years past, there may be slight benefit changes or rate increases, but the fundamentals of Medicare and Medicare options remain the same. Here are five items to keep in mind as you enroll or switch plans for 2017.
- Open Enrollment Runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7
This should not be confused with ACA "open enrollment," which starts November 1.
- Advice Is Available
There's help available to select the right plan for you. Arizona boasts a large, knowledgeable broker community. Some will visit your home and others will hold local seminars.
- Most Individuals Become Eligible Around Age 65
Most people are eligible to enroll when they turn 65. Eligible seniors can actually enroll three months before the month of their 65th birthday, the month of their 65th birthday and three months after that same birthday. Medicare has a lot different eligibility requirements that can found at www.Medicare.gov.
- Plan Information Is Online in Many Places
To find out more about Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona's Medicare solutions visit us online at www.azblue.com/aep2017 or call (888)288-0019 (toll-free) or 711 (TTY) daily from 8 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. local time.
Learn more about Medicare in general by visiting www.Medicare.gov.
- 5) New Enrollees Need to Be Aware of Plan Differences
There are many options when it comes to Medicare. If you're switching from an employer plan to a Medicare plan, be aware there can be significant differences between the two plan types. For example, your doctor may no longer be part of the network or you may need prior authorization for some services you didn't previously. Here are other considerations as you switch plans.
- What are the costs associated with the plan? Those are deductibles, premiums, copays and out-of-pocket.
- Is your doctor in the plan's network?
- Will your prescription drugs be covered and are there limits?
- What are the plan's customer satisfaction scores?
- Will you have access to wellness programs or fitness discounts?
- What medical services are most important to you and are they covered?
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) is committed to helping Arizonans get healthier faster and stay healthier longer. With a focus on connecting people with the care they need, BCBSAZ offers health insurance and related services to nearly 1.5 million customers. BCBSAZ, a not-for-profit company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The company employs nearly 1,500 people in its Phoenix, Chandler, Flagstaff and Tucson offices. Through advanced clinical programs and community outreach, BCBSAZ is moving health forward. To learn more, visit azblue.com.
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona