by: Myrna Aquitania

Myrna Aquitania

Seniors who are 65 or older are given two options to choose when it comes to health care coverage. One is the federally-mandated regular Medicare Health Insurance, while the other one is Medicare Advantage. As I understand it, both healthcare options include a prescription drug plan.

On both options, one should already have a Medicare Part A, which is the hospital coverage and Part B, which is the medical or doctor’s coverage. Both Part A and Part B may be acquired by. those 65 or older (including those under 65) as long as they’re entitled on the basis of their Social Security benefits. For those who do not have Medicare Part A, they may purchase it from the Social Security Administration and Part B also has a required premium to be paid. Part C on the other hand, is the supplement coverage for long-term care and Part D is the prescription drug plan.

Enrollment on above coverage ends this week, (open enrollment is from October 15 through December 7th) so, seniors are inundated with various healthcare groups marketing to their particular needs. Seniors can choose from companies such as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Humana, Scan, AARP, United Healhtcare, Secure Horizons, Inter-Valley Health Plan, etc., to name a few.

Various marketing gimmicks are mailed to seniors In order to entice them to enroll in their particular group coverage. Marketing strategies include dinner invitations where seniors can listen to the healtcare group’s sales pitch, which includes anywhere from free insulated beverage bags, free athletic fitness memberships,  mini radios or nostalgic “memories of the 60’s” cd.

Most seniors get confused on which healthcare company to choose from, that’s why it’s best to consult someone who understands the various options offered around. If you’re like me who’s as confused with all these offers, feel free to call your medicare representative at: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), 24/7 or check with your state’s health insurance programs. Here, in the State of California, you may get in touched with SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) if you have healthcare-related questions.