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Changes come with Medicare open enrollment

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:45 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Medicare’s open enrollment period has kicked off and has come with a few changes. There’s new legislation, new medical facilities being built around the area, and new insurance companies.

Assembly Bill 250 gets rid of health questions when switching supplement plans. The option to switch medicare supplement plans at any time has always been available, but it’s typically contingent on health and prescription questions. That has prevented people from being able to switch supplement plans.

“For people who have heart conditions, if you had a heart attack at any point in your lifetime, even if it was 20 years ago, almost all of these insurance companies will prevent you to switch into a new Medicare supplement plan if health questions are asked,” said Matt Law, Healthcare Advisor at Health Benefits Associates.

Plan F, a popular medicare supplement plan, has also been phased out. The plan is still available for those who were already signed up for it or were eligible for medicare on or before January 1, 2020. Those eligible after that date who weren’t signed up for it can no longer get it. One reason it was so popular was because it covered the medicare Part B annual deductible.

“The beauty of the Plan F, is that people get 100% coverage with approved Medicare services when they go into the doctor or into the hospital,” said Law. “The problem is is that the premiums are so high now. It’s really hard to afford it.”

Other changes include new insurance companies and medical facilities in Northern Nevada. More insurance companies means more options. The new hospitals being built in the area are covered by specific plans. For more information on how that can affect your medicare plan, talk to a medicare advisor.

“There’s not a one size fits all policy for everybody,” said Law. “So we’d like to sit down with people. We want to know their doctors, their prescriptions, their lifestyle. Then from that, we can recommend any Medicare Advantage plan or Medicare supplement plan in the area that best suits their needs.”

You can find more information on Health Benefits Associates here.

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