How to Assist Florida Seniors During Medicare Open Enrollment

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Did you know that Medicare Open Enrollment is from October 15th to December 7th? This is a crucial period that allows Florida seniors an opportunity to review and adjust their healthcare coverage to suit their evolving needs. Florida seniors also have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their healthcare plans for the coming year. To be sure that you can help the Florida seniors you know make the most of this period, we would like to share seven essential tips for obtaining the information they may need during Medicare Open Enrollment.

1. Florida seniors need to start early. They should not wait until the last minute. They need to begin researching and gathering information before the Open Enrollment period starts. This will give them ample time to compare plans and make informed decisions.

2. Florida seniors need to gather current information. You can help the Florida seniors you know by working with them to collect their most recent medical records, a list of their medications they are currently taking, and any healthcare services they expect to use in the coming year. By having this information on hand you can help them assess which plans best cover their needs.

3. Florida seniors need to review their current plan. Help the Florida seniors you know by taking a closer look at their current Medicare plan. Help them understand any changes in terms of costs, coverage, providers, and pharmacies in the network. Be aware that their current plan’s “Annual Notice of Change” provides valuable insights.

4. Florida seniors need to explore plan options. You can help the Florida seniors you know use online tools provided by Medicare to compare plans available in their area. Be sure to consider factors like premiums, deductibles, copayments, and maximum out-of-pocket costs. They need to choose a plan that aligns with their anticipated healthcare needs.

5. Florida seniors need to consult with their doctors.  Be sure the Florida seniors you know reach out to their healthcare providers to discuss their options. Their doctors can provide insights into which plans work best with their medical requirements and offer recommendations based on their experience.

6. Florida seniors need to assess drug coverage. If the Florida seniors you know take prescription medications, review the drug formulary of each plan they are considering. Be sure that their medications are covered and that costs are reasonable.

7. Florida seniors need to consider additional benefits. You and the Florida seniors you know should be aware that some Medicare plans offer extra benefits beyond basic coverage, such as dental, vision, or wellness programs. Together you can evaluate these additional offerings to determine if they align with their needs.

It is important to remember that Medicare Open Enrollment is an annual opportunity to ensure that the healthcare coverage of the Florida seniors you know aligns with their needs. By following these seven tips, you can help the Florida seniors you know navigate the enrollment process with confidence, gather essential information, and make informed decisions. Whether you are helping the Florida seniors you know or a professional assisting clients, being well-prepared for Open Enrollment ensures that our Florida seniors secure the coverage that best suits their requirements.

We know you may have questions. The Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys (AFELA) is the pre-eminent organization of Florida elder law attorneys providing advocacy, education and action on behalf of seniors and people with disabilities. We encourage you to contact one of our attorneys in your area using our Find a Lawyer website for assistance on what to do next if your aging parent has developed memory loss.