BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Oct. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Medicare annual open enrollment period began Oct. 15 and lasts until Dec. 7. This enrollment period is usually the only chance Medicare recipients have each year to choose a new health plan — either switching between traditional Medicare and a private Medicare Advantage plan, changing from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, or adding or changing prescription drug coverage.
Medicare Advantage plans, like VIVA Medicare, cover all the benefits of traditional Medicare, typically offer additional benefits, and usually include prescription drug coverage. Unlike traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans cap the amount of yearly out-of-pocket costs for medical care, and most charge set copays for doctor's visits and hospital stays.
Even if Medicare recipients are happy with their coverage now, they should review changes for 2017. Changes can include monthly premiums, copayments, deductibles, the list of covered drugs (called the formulary), and the network of hospitals, doctors and other providers from whom a member can seek care. Medicare recipients should visit www.medicare.gov to learn how Medicare ranks the Medicare health plans available in their area.
Also at www.medicare.gov, recipients can learn if their health plan is no longer sold in their county or if a new plan is available. They also can find out if a health plan is under sanction by Medicare, which may prevent that plan from enrolling new members.
Medicare Advantage plans earning four or five stars through their quality scores are paid a bonus, which is used to enhance benefits for their members. VIVA has a four-star ranking for both 2016 and 2017. As a four-star Medicare plan, VIVA Medicare is proud to announce that most members will pay lower cost-sharing for many medical services in 2017 than they do now and that no copayments for medical benefits increased.
VIVA Medicare has more than 43,000 Alabama members and has the highest enrollment of any Medicare Advantage plan in its 24-county service area. VIVA Medicare has earned the top customer satisfaction survey score in the state for the past eight years, according to Medicare & You, a Medicare publication. The company is headquartered in Birmingham, and customer service questions are answered by employees in Alabama.
Contact: Anna Velasco – 205-558-7641 for photos or an interview with a VIVA sales representative
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SOURCE VIVA HEALTH, Inc.