BY: Beverly Bernstein Joie, MS, CMC
President Elder Connections
The Care Manager’s Diary
Care Giver Needs Help
The frantic call came from a nephew who was moving his aunt from the west coast to the Philadelphia area. “What should I do?” His Medicare Advantage Plan is not accepted in his new assisted care community. Do we have to find a new place?
Medicare Advantage Plans were developed by private insurance companies. They capture the Medicare dollars allotted to every senior and provide their own unique plan. The consumer no longer possesses Medicare per se, but now is insured by the selected company. Health care providers can only provide care when they become preferred providers of the company. Physical therapy centers and long term care communities for example, may or may not participate.
Better Senior Care for Aunt Alice
Since Aunt Alice was moving from out of state, she was able to secure a Medicare plan without waiting for the open enrollment period. But, it was up to Elder Connections to advise her nephew about the best possible choice for him. In his case, and what we almost always advocate, is for seniors to choose a traditional Medicare Plan with a secondary insurance known as a Medigap Policy. To date, this option assures that the recipient has the most control over their choice of physician and all auxiliary health care services.
Whether you are facing this decision or will some time in the future, it is essential to know the facts about Medicare. I have been grateful that my own mother has access to the doctors, hospitals, physical therapy and services that her doctor and I choose for her. You may have doubts about Obama’s Health Care Policy for various reasons, But, it’s really important to understand Medicare Advantage Programs actually work when care and services are required to meed changing needs.
Elder Connections Reminds You that Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period Begins November 15, 2009.
If you are interested in changing your Medicare coverage, the Open Enrollment Period for 2010 will begin on November 15, 2009 and close December 31, 2009. All changes will go into effect January 1, 2010. Not acting during this period means you will keep the coverage you have.
Obama’s Controversial Health Plan Addresses Medicare Options
- Trim subsidies for Medicare Advantage Plans
- Managed care companies receive about $17 billion a year from Medicare
- Private plans now cost the government 14% more per person than traditional plans.
A Better Plan
Obama’s Health Care Plan will be debated for some time to come. But in the meantime, decisions for better senior care will not wait. Call Elder Connections to help you with decisions for your own peace of mind.