A Reminder for Your Seniors: 2021 Medicare Open Enrollment

This is a great time of the year to remind your residents and their families of the Medicare open enrollment window. Although families usually are on top of this, a simple reminder for your residential assisted living team shows them just how much you are invested in their loved one’s health and well-being.

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It’s Open Season. Not for hunting, but for Medicare Enrollment. The enrollment period is from October 15 to December 7, 2020.

Here’s What You Will Be Able to Do During Medicare Open Enrollment:

  • Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan
  • Change from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare
  • Change your Medicare Advantage plan
  • Choose a more appropriate Medicare prescription drug plan

All changes made will take effect on January 1, 2021. A common question among many residents is, “Do I need to make any changes to my Medicare plan?”

Evaluating the type of utilization during this year helps to answer that question. Also, understanding any medical needs for the coming year also solidifies whether a change should be made or not.

Consider assembling a team to help review your resident’s files and plans during this season, which will set your residential assisted living home apart from any other.

Some families are simply unable to make these decisions wisely, and with the present pandemic, will struggle even more to do so.

Be the catalyst to great health care and coverage for your residents. Support them and their families during these unprecedented times by helping them make these decisions with up-to-date information on their loved one’s health needs. They will not forget what you have done and will appreciate the concerted effort and wise counsel provided.

WHY DO SENIORS NEED TO MAKE CHANGES TO THEIR MEDICARE PLANS?

The leading reasons for changes in Medicare include:

  1. Cost
  2. Changes in health that require different coverage
  3. Provider networks
  4. Drug coverage (Part D)
  5. Out-of-pocket premium increases
  6. Changes in deductibles and copays

While there are other factors which drive changes, these are the prevailing ones.

THE ANNUAL NOTICE OF CHANGE LETTER HIGHLIGHTS IMPORTANT CHANGES

This notice will detail changes to their current plan. If those changes are inconsequential and your resident’s needs will still be met, no change may be necessary.

However, if the changes will detrimentally affect your resident, it is important for responsible parties to choose another plan.

4 WAYS TO GET HELP WITH MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT

The following agencies can assist residential assisted living homeowners and staff with counseling and support during this often-confusing time.

  1. Contact Your Local SHIP Office
    Your State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) provides cost-free, comprehensive insurance counseling. A knowledgeable counselor who navigates Medicare and Medicaid daily will guide you to the best options for your resident.
  2. Contact Your Local Area Agency on Aging
    This agency works wonders for our seniors. Support of all kinds can be found at this agency and Medicare counseling is among them.
  3. Use Medicare’s Online Plan Finder
    The federal government will help you and your residents electronically. Let your fingers do the walking and information will abound.
  4. Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227)
    Sometimes you just need to talk with someone. For your resident, if they are involved in the process with you, talking is often much better than searching. Call the above listed number but do so early in the season as the wait times will increase the closer to the deadline you get.

RESIDENTIAL ASSISTED LIVING NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ANNUAL REMINDER

Residential assisted living homeowners who lead in this effort have residents and families who are both appreciative and supportive toward your business.

This is stressful for them and dealing with the government’s program can even be intimidating.

By leading in this effort, the earlier the better, your seniors and their families will have peace of mind and your RAL home will be more than a place where Mom and/or Dad lives.

It will be home.

For additional professional tips about owning and operating an assisted living home, contact RALNA.

Learn how the national association can help put your home on the national map, literally.