Champaign-Urbana, Ill. (WCIA)

Kimberly Smith, Community Outreach Manager with Health Alliance is bringing you the information you need to know about your Medicare plans and existing coverage for next year.

During the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, which runs from Oct. 15 until Dec. 7, many people are surprised to find that there are more cost-effective options that better fit their anticipated needs going into next year when they take time to review their coverage and compare other plans.

This could easily be an overwhelming process for many. Where should people start?  

Start with a review of your current coverage and think about what has changed or may be changing. Ask yourself the six key questions to make sure the plan you have is still the best fit for your health status and lifestyle:

· Have your healthcare needs changed or do you foresee them changing in the upcoming year?
· Has your financial situation changed?
· Will the doctors you see continue to be in network?
· Are your prescription medications still covered?
· Are getting the additional benefits you want?
· Do you plan to travel away from home often?

Matching what you know you’ll need and want in the coming year helps narrow down the options you’ll want to explore.

Are Medicare Advantage plans better than other Medicare plans? 

Selecting a Medicare plan is highly personal. Medicare-eligible beneficiaries have a choice between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Advantage plans (also known as Medicare Part C) are increasingly popular because of their one-stop-shopping approach — bundling Part A (hospital), Part B (medical) and often Part D (prescription) coverage into one plan. And $0 monthly premiums have become the standard, not the exception.

Medicare Advantage plans, such as some of the plans from Health Alliance™, offer access to whole suites of tools to help members stay physically active and thrive. People who liked the health insurance they had from their employer when they were working, might appreciate the one-stop-shopping convenience of a more comprehensive plan like a Medicare Advantage plan from Health Alliance.