WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Most Medicare beneficiaries, nearly 53 million Americans, are aged 65 and over. This age group is also considered most at-risk for COVID-19.
The pandemic has brought about many changes when it comes to Medicare. It affects everything from the way you can apply to plan benefits at your disposal.
Eyewitness News spoke with an expert on Medicare about navigating the changes during this unprecedented year.
Kyal Moody, senior vice president at Medicare Benefit Solutions, tells us, “Medicare is evolving and the way Medicare is being delivered is evolving.”
Call it a Medicare metamorphosis during the year of COVID-19. A lot of additional benefits are being added to the national health insurance program for qualifying Americans. For starters, the way Medicare beneficiaries can sign up.
“They can go through the process of finding a plan, choosing a plan and enrolling in a plan all without having to go out in the public,” says Moody.
While you can enroll online or on the phone, Moody urges caution going through it alone.
“There are a lot of different plans out there and frankly there are so many plans that it’s very confusing for consumers,” Moody said.
To make an informed decision, he says you must consider all of your medical needs.
“What doctors you see, what specialists you see, are there hospitals that are in the network that you’d like to go to, some prescription drug information on the drugs you take on a regular basis and then any other ancillary services that may be important to you,” Moody said.
TeleHealth is something now under the Medicare coverage umbrella, another change you can chalk up to the pandemic.
“It’s forced evolution and it’s forced carriers to offer benefits that differ. It’s forced consumers to use those benefits and get used to a changing environment,” says Moody.
Meanwhile, more older Americans are opting to remain in the workforce and pass on signing up for Medicare. If that’s your choice, Moody says make sure you have creditable coverage, meaning a health benefit plan that meets minimum qualifications.
“It’s always best just to check with the Social Security Administration to make sure when your eligibility is going to, when you are going to become eligible for your Medicare Part A and Part B and then just let them know if you are going to delay enrollment so that they can make sure to keep you informed of any changes that happen while your enrollment is being delayed,” Moody said.
Remember that signing up for Medicare occurs three months before or after your 65th birthday.
Meanwhile, open enrollment for Medicare this year runs from October 15th through December 7th.
For more useful information to help navigate Medicare benefits during this year of the pandemic, you can call Medicare Benefit Solutions toll-free at 866-576-2956 or Click Here.