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Coverage Changes in Coming to Medicare in 2019

Sign post that points to confusion on Medicare Options

April of 2018, Medicare recipients will start to receive new Medicare ID cards that no longer have a Social Security number displayed on them. This is to help prevent fraud and identity theft among seniors. As required by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) all beneficiaries will have a new Medicare ID card by April 2019. The new cards will display a random ID number and you can shred the old card.

Then the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018) will help close the donut hole one for brand name drugs. This means that beneficiaries will only pay 25% of the cost of brand name drugs. The cost of closing the donut hole for brand name prescriptions is being shifted to the drug manufactures instead of insurance companies or beneficiaries.

So many good things are happening in 2019, it only makes sense that there is some less than desirable news. A new premium bracket for the highest-income Part B and Part D enrollees with go into effect. Under the BBA 2018 enrollees with an income of $500,000 or more ($750,000 for married couples) will pay a higher premium for Part B and Part D coverage.

Annually by September 30th, Medicare Advantage recipients will receive an Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EOC) from their existing insurance carrier for their Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription drug plan providers.

CMS shares plan changes for the following year in October, several months before the new year. Medicare.gov is an awesome resource for Medicare beneficiaries, you can use it to compare plans, look up information and learn more about Medicare.

Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your Medicare coverage review and prescription drug policy.

The Open Enrollment Period Explained

If you or a loved one receives Medicare coverage, you know how complicated and confusing enrollment periods can be. Enrollment periods are only confusing because the term “Open Enrollment Period” is used correctly and incorrectly to describe times when a plan change is possible

Reinstating the Medicare Advantage “Open Enrollment Period”

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period was discontinued in 2010. In 2019, the OEP will make a return.

From 2011-2018 Medicare beneficiaries were given only the Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (MADP), during this time beneficiaries could disenroll from their Medicare Advantage plan and switch only to Original Medicare. Now all that is changing.

The Medicare OEP will begin on January 1st and end on March 31st. During this time Medicare beneficiaries can disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and enroll into another Medicare Advantage plan. You also have the option of switching back to Original Medicare, with or without Part D coverage.

It’s important for beneficiaries to know that they won’t be able to switch Part D prescription drug plans. If you are currently enrolled in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan you will need to change your policy during the Annual Enrollment Period from October 15 through December 7.

Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period

New terminology needs to be set up to make things easier for Medicare beneficiaries. It doesn’t need to be complicated, and it should be simplified.

The Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period is for Medicare beneficiaries that are new to Medicare Part B. This period lasts 6 months and begins on the first day of the month that you turn 65 or older and enrolled in Medicare Part B.

So, if you turn 65 on April 8 and don’t join Medicare until May 20, your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment will start on June 1, which is the first day of the month in which you are both 65 and Enrolled in Medicare Part B.

Incorrectly Called “Open Enrollment Period”

The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) happens every year from October 15 through December 7, this enrollment period is commonly called the Open Enrollment Period. It’s incorrect to refer to the AEP as the OEP, but people do.

When a Medicare beneficiary turn 65, they become eligible for the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), this gives beneficiaries 7 months to enroll in a Medicare advantage plan. IEP is commonly mistaken for an Open enrollment Period. It’s clear that they are confusing the IEP with the Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period, while they are similar, they aren’t the same.

To find out more about how Imagine Insurance Advisors can help you with your Medicare questions and enrollment, please visit our website at www.ImagineInsAdv.com.

A Certified Senior Advisor Assistance For All Your Insurance Needs

Allison Harris Senior Certified Advisor
Allison Harris Certified Senior Advisor

A Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) is a professional who has received a comprehensive education in the health, financial, and social issues facing seniors. CSA members must pass a challenging national exam to prove their knowledge of the issues affecting seniors and must recertify the credential annually. As a CSA, Allison Harris brings expertise and knowledge of the issues you will face as you age. She can help you make decisions about and plan for your future.

Allison Harris has also completed the certification as a Long Term Care Professional (LTCP). This provides her with in-depth knowledge of all aspects of long term care insurance including underwriting and the claims process.

Annually Allison completes certification on the Medicare Options and for the Federal Marketplace and Kentucky health exchanges (Kynect).

Our clients are very important to us. We make it a point to be as knowledgeable as possible on the products we offer. It is our intent to be the only resource our clients need on the products we offer. We would never recommend something to you that we wouldn’t offer our own family. The personal service you receive from Imagine Insurance Advisors will spoil you for all the interactions you have with other companies.

Why Imagine Insurance Advisors?

Allison Harris, founder of Imagine Insurance Advisors
Allison Harris, founder of Imagine Insurance Advisors

As the founder of AM Warner Insurance and now Imagine Insurance Advisors, I wanted to explain our name change and philosophy.

At AM Warner Insurance now rebranded as Imagine Insurance Advisors, we strive to give you the information needed to make wise personal choices for your future. We believe that education is the key to making that decision. The best place to begin learning is with the basics. We address each topic in easy to understand terms so you can gain information quickly.

We are independent insurance agents. This means that we offer multiple products from multiple companies. We do the shopping and comparing for you. This allows us to help you determine the coverage that best suits your needs and provide a recommendation from all the products available. Our clients find that this eliminates the need for them to do the research and results in quicker and better solutions with less confusion on their part.


Medicare Annual Election Period What You Need to Know

Questions on Medicare plan changes?
Questions on Medicare plan changes?

The Annual Election Period, which is when you can change your Medicare health or prescription drug coverage, is October 15 through December 7. You coverage will begin January 1 of the following year, as long as the plan gets your enrollment request by December 7. In most cases, you must stay enrolled for the calendar year.

Please visit Medicare.com for more detailed information on enrollment for new enrollees and updates to existing Medicare subscribers.

Welcome to Imagine Insurance Advisors

Welcome to our new website with our new name.We are the same management and team, but with a brand new name – Imagine Insurance Advisors. We feel that our new name
that better reflects our attention to your personal insurance needs.

Voice: (502) 742-4979 • Fax: (502) 749-7700

3036 Breckenridge Lane, Suite 101
Louisville, KY 40220