(BPT) - Some 60 million Americans receive Medicare benefits each year to help pay for health care and prescription drugs, according to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that runs the program. Yet, many don’t get the right benefits for their health needs and their budget.
“The biggest mistake people eligible for Medicare make is that they don’t know enough about their options,” says Kyal Moody, president of Medicare Benefits Solutions, a new offering from Health Compare. “As a result, people don’t get the benefits they deserve.”
Confused about which plan is right for you or your loved one? Medicarebenefits.com can help. This new, free service lets you compare Medicare plans. It also offers access to licensed, experienced Medicare insurance agents who can help provide information on thousands of plans from the leading Medicare health insurance companies. Call the toll-free number: 855-765-4028 (TTY:711), Monday through Friday, 5 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT.
Here are three other ways to help ensure you get the benefits you and your loved ones deserve:
Know the options. Two of every three eligible people are enrolled in Original Medicare, according to CMS. The rest have chosen a Medicare Advantage plan, a popular option increased at 8% per year compared with less than 1% for Original Medicare. What makes Advantage plans so popular? In addition to covering all Medicare services, some Medicare Advantage plans also offer Medicare beneficiaries extra coverage through supplemental benefits, such as vision, hearing and dental services. Some also offer prescription drug coverage (Part D) as part of their plan.
Review your plan’s drug coverage annually. Look for changes in prescription drug formularies — the list of medications covered by your drug plan. If a prescription drug drops off the formulary it could cost thousands of dollars if you don’t switch to a plan that pays for your medication.
Do a benefits check-up every year. The National Council on Aging, a nonprofit organization for seniors, offers a free, interactive site to check eligibility for a host of benefits from income tax relief to food, housing and utility assistance, transportation discounts, pension help and veterans’ benefits. Find more information at Findmybenefits.org or by calling the toll-free number, 1-800-794-6559, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, to be sure you are getting all the benefits and services you might be eligible for.