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The 2019 Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP) begins October 15 and runs until December 7. This is the time of year to make changes to your Medicare Advantage (also called Medicare Part C) or Medicare Prescription Drug insurance plans. Medicare is available to people age 65 or older, and certain people receiving social security disability insurance.

Like prior years, there will be many changes in 2019. Plan designs, copays and drug formularies have changed, along with premiums and benefits. Many doctors have changed the types of plans they will and will not accept. Now is the time to review your coverage.

If you have friends, or family members that have questions regarding their Medicare Benefits and want to speak with a knowledgeable professional, feel free to share my name and contact information with them.

In 2019, ALLSTARFinanciaInsurance.com will be able to help you with the following companies offering Medicare Advantage Plans.

 

a trusted name in the Northwest has acquired , now Premera will offer 7 plans (3 Premera and 4 Soundpath). Premera will offer 2 $0 premium options and continues to have one of the most extensive provider network. In 2019 Premera has added Silver & Fit to its plan benefits. All this is provided by its excellent customer service.

 

Is the only plan with a 5 Star rating. This is the highest Medicare rating and also means you can enroll all year without a Special Election Period. Did you know that Swedish Medical is Providence Health? Providence offers a $0 HMO and a HMO/POS plan which allow you to go out of network without a referral. Both plans include Silver Sneakers and many additional benefits.

 

In 2019 a Naturopathy benefit has been added, 6 visit PCY with a $10 copay. This benefit works in both the very competitive PPO plans, (no referrals or Doctor is Out of Network), as well as the 2 HMO plans. HMO options includes a $0 premium option. Aetna offers some unique benefits that make it easy to find doctors when out of the area. Plan includes Silver Sneakers, covers Generic medications when in the donut hole and $0 copay for a 90 day supply for mail order Generic Drugs.

 

has remained a strong provider of coverage. I am very excited about the plans offered in 2019! Humana has expanded their provider network and improved their Prescription Drug formulary. Humana which already offered a $0 premium plan in King County, now offers a $0 premium plan in Snohomish County! Humana plans also includes many additional benefits like:

  • $0 copay for PCP Office Visits
  • $0 copay for 90 days’ supply of mail order generic drugs
  • Acupuncture
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Silver Sneakers
  • $50 every 3 months for Over the Counter Drugs

 

offers excellent benefits and coverage. It consistently rates high when reviewed on Medicare.gov. The Classic HMO is a $0 premium option. Plan benefits include Silver Sneakers, Vision, preventive Dental and a stipend to purchase Over the Counter drugs.

 

Has added a $0 plan to its choices for 2019. Formally known as Group Health, Kaiser continues to offer excellent service and coverage. They offer a variety of plans to choose from. Plans include Silver Sneakers.

 

In 2019 Regence offers a $0 premium HMO, this plan is in addition to their other choices which include a PPO plan accepted by most doctors. Plans include Silver & Fit.

 

Are you one of the people who receives both Medicare and Medicaid? You would know because, in addition to a Medicare card you would have a blue, State of Washington Services Card.

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Molina, Amerigroup and Humana offer excellent plans with many additional benefits like Dental, Vision, Over the Counter drugs and Silver Sneakers. You will not pay more for services than you currently pay, you just get a bunch of additional services and it is so much easier to find a doctor with one of these plans versus straight Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare, offers great coverage but leave many gaps. When it comes to filling these gaps you can choose a Medicare Advantage Plan like the ones described, or you can choose a Medicare Supplement and a Part D Prescription Drug plan. The advantages of a Medicare Supplement (or Medigap) is you will have a lower out of pocket limit and no provider networks. Most Medicare Advantage plans have an Out of Pocket Maximum which exceeds $6,500. This means you could pay that amount in a year. With a Supplement, you can reduce your potential exposure to much less. Some of the choices to consider:

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Plan F – all medical/doctor cost are paid, you pay nothing
Plan G – all medical/doctor cost are paid except the Medicare Part B deductible of $183
High Deductible Plan F – all medical/doctor cost are paid after you pay $2,240 deductible.
Rates vary by company, would you like a quote?

Medicare Supplements, however, do not include prescription drug coverage. You are required to have drug coverage. Failure to enroll into a prescription drug plan will result in penalties.

For prescription drug plans:

This year Envision RX has been added to the plans offered. Envision offers the lowest priced Medicare Part D plan available.

 

Humana offers 3 plan choices including the famous Walmart Plan which offers additional discounts when you fill your prescriptions at Walmart.

 

Aetna and Regence (under the name Asuris) offer excellent plans and coverage.