Medicare Annual Enrollment Signals Another Important Election This Fall

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

By Chuck Dow, Humana Illinois Regional Medicare President
Edited by Lawndale Bilingual Newspaper

This fall, as Americans make their choices in a host of local, state and national elections, including 2016 presidential, gubernatorial and congressional races, seniors and those eligible for Medicare must pay special attention to the decisions they face during another important election— the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP). During this year’s Medicare AEP, which lasts through December 7th, it’s important for people with Medicare to understand that the choice they make can affect their health throughout 2017. As with any major decision, thoughtful research will go a long way toward making the best care coverage choice that maximizes value based on your individual health needs. Similar to voting for elected officials, it is important to research all available choices, determine their impact on your life and be comfortable with your choice. Options for people with Medicare include:

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

  • Original Medicare (Parts A and B), basic coverage for medical expenses without coverage for most prescriptions. There is cost-sharing, or copays, coinsurance and deductibles for coverage through Original Medicare.
  • Medicare Advantage (Part C), which covers everything Original Medicare covers and may include extra benefits, services and often prescription drug coverage through a private insurer. Medicare Advantage is used instead of Original Medicare for those who sign up for these health plans.
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (Part D), coverage for prescription medications, which may lower prescription drug expenses.
  • Medicare Supplement Plans, which pay some costs not paid by Original Medicare, like deductibles and coinsurance.

One easy way to compare Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans is by taking a close look at Medicare Star quality ratings, a one- to five-star scale, with five stars awarded to the highest quality plans. Resources, like and, can help you make the right choice as you identify the best plan for you before the Dec. 7 enrollment deadline. You can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY: 1-877-486-2048 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 2017 Medicare plan information. With any election, it is important to remember that your decision can have a long-term impact for the future. So, this fall, be prepared to make the choice that helps you take the next step toward being a healthier you.

Comments are closed.