Medicare Open Enrollment

We are right in the middle of Medicare Open Enrollment and thought some guidance would be helpful.

Medicare open enrollment started on October 15th and ends December 17th, with the coverage beginning January 1st, 2018.

Medicare has two options Original Medicare OR Medicare Advantage. Original Medicare includes Parts A, B, D and secondary or supplemental plan. Part A is hospitalization coverage which covers such things as inpatient hospitalization, skilled nursing facilities, home health care and hospice. Part B is the medical coverage which covers such things as outpatient services, doctors/provider and preventative benefits. Part D is the prescription coverage, “D” for drugs.  The secondary/supplemental part can consist of  Group Health Insurance from a  former employer, Medicaid, or private insurance that coordinates with Original Medicare. Also known as Medigap or MedSup.

Medicare Advantage, also known as Part C, includes hospitalization, medical and prescriptions. It is offered by private companies to replace Original Medicare and consists of HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) and PPOs (Preferred Provider Organizations). Networks, premiums and copays vary by plan and enrollees pay Part B premium and any other applicable costs.


When reviewing Medicare for open enrollment;

Take the time to review the plan’s options, coverage, and costs. Make sure they fit your particular family situation and meet your medical needs.

Make sure your doctors and hospitals are in the network. If they are not, cost will most likely be higher or there may be no coverage at all.

Make sure you medications are covered by the plan.

Review your desire to have dental and vision coverage. Original Medicare does not cover dental, vision and hearing services.

Original Medicare does not cover medical expenses if you travel outside of the United States. Some Medicare Advantage plans do cover. So, if you plan on traveling, check your plan’s coverage.


Some good resources to help guide you through the Medicare and the Open Enrollment process are;

Medicare itself is a good resource.


The Ohio Department of Insurance especially the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Partnership (OSHIIP). OSHIIP provides free, unbiased information and guidance. You can contact them and set up a free one-on-one appointment with a counselor.


The Seniority Benefit Group is another good source of free and unbiased information and one-on-one guidance.


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