Weeks left for Oklahomans to select, switch Medicare coverage for 2021

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahomans have weeks left to select or switch to a new Medicare plan to ensure they are covered in 2021.

In a time when hospitalizations are on the rise, it is important to stay up to date on your health checks and health coverage. Dr. Charles Lunn, medical director at Centennial Health, said not doing so had lead to health issues even more than covid.

“I’ve actually had worse outcomes from the delay in care,” said Dr. Lunn. “People that we were following up on, lab studies, or following up on certain procedures that need to be done.”

Dr. Lunn said you will want to pick your Medicare plan now so that later you will have coverage when and if you need it.

“Medicare is a government program that provides healthcare,” said Dr. Lunn. “There’s the original Medicare, which generally there’s a percentage of each procedure or thing that you have to pay the doctor’s office, and then there’s Medicare advantage programs. Those, actually, are much more inclusive and with lower out of pocket costs, in general.”

Anyone who has paid into the Medicare system in the past is eligible for Medicare parts A and B, per CFO of GlobalHealth, an Oklahoma-based insurer, Scott Potter. Part A covers hospitalizations at no cost to the insured. Part B covers doctors visits and some outpatient visits, however there is a premium associated with that. There is also a Medicare part D, which provides prescription drug coverage. Medicare part C, also known as the Medicare Advantage Program, comes from private health insurance plans, whereas parts A and B come directly from the U.S. Government. A benefit to part C is that it usually has a maximum on what your out of pocket cost will be.

Usually, you can meet with insurers in person to find which Medicare plan is best for you, but the pandemic has made that impossible. Now, phone and even Zoom calls are being utilized.

“It’s important now in these last few weeks that we have to find somebody that you trust to talk about it and make a decision about your Medicare option,” said Potter.

You can call Medicare directly at 800-772-1213 or GlobalHealth at 844-322-8322 to find out what type of coverage works best for you.

The Medicare enrollment period ends December 7.

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