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Guiding you through the Medicare wilderness

Published online: Oct 09, 2023 Senior Living
Viewed 926 time(s)

By Glen Ogden

If you are 65 years or older or if you simply watch television, you are probably well aware that the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare starts Oct. 15. With all of the TV ads, junk mail and telemarketing calls constantly bombarding you, it can be hard to sort through all of the noise and make sense of what you need to do. There will be some big changes to Medicare plans both on a local and a national level next year. This article will outline some of those changes and provide you with the insights you need to make an informed decision.

National Changes to Prescription Drug Plans

If you have a prescription drug plan with Medicare and you noticed that the cost of your prescriptions changed throughout the year it is probably a result of the phase of drug coverage you are in. In prior years, you were required to continue making some kind of copayment or coinsurance for your prescriptions all year. However, starting in 2024 individuals who get through the Coverage Gap or “Donut Hole” and move into the Catastrophic Coverage phase of the drug plan will no longer have any out of pocket costs for prescriptions. This change will be very helpful for individuals who have costly medications and while they will still be expensive for a time, you may get some relief later in the year.

Local Changes for Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage Plans, also known as Part C Medicare Plans are offered by private companies approved by Medicare. The insurance carriers are allowed to decide where they want to offer their plans. In 2024, PacificSource will no longer offer any Medicare Advantage Plans in Bannock, Bingham, Bonneville, Jefferson or Madison counties. If you are currently insured by PacificSource and you live in one of these counties, it will be important for you to contact a local agent who can help you find an alternative plan.

Other carriers like Blue Cross of Idaho and UnitedHealthcare offer attractive plans in these counties and SelectHealth has announced they will begin offering Medicare Advantage plans in Bonneville county starting in 2024.

With so many changes coming in 2024, it is important to work with a local agent who can provide you with the knowledge and plan information you need to make an informed decision. Many of the telemarketer calls you get are from agents in other states who might not understand the unique options available in East Idaho. There is no cost to consult with a local Medicare agent.

At Golden Insurance, we specialize only in Medicare and we have been your local experts in Idaho Falls for over 16 years. Odds are that you or one of your neighbors is already a client. We have a full slate of Medicare meetings available throughout the enrollment season but we also love meeting one on one with you. Please give us a call at 208-680-6680 and schedule your appointment today.

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