Sunday December 8, 2013
Medicare open enrollment ended December 7, 2013. If you missed it, don't worry. You won't go without Medicare benefits. Instead, your current Medicare choices will roll over to 2014. However, you won't be able to make changes to your Medicare benefit choices† until next year's open enrollment, October 15, 2014 through December 7, 2014.
There are a few exceptions to this rule:
- Some things, such as moving outside of your Medicare Advantage plan's service area, trigger a special enrollment period allowing you a brief period to make changes even though it's not open enrollment.
- From January 1, 2014, through February 14, 2014, you can change your mind about your Medicare Advantage plan and switch back to Original Medicare. You can't switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or join an Advantage plan you don't already belong to, though.
Tuesday December 3, 2013
This holiday season can be a hectic time of the year. It's not unusual to lose track of time and have to scramble to avoid missing a deadline. Don't let this happen with your Medicare benefits.
Medicare open enrollment ends in less than a week. You have until December 7, this Saturday, to make your benefit elections for 2014. If you haven't already done this, head over to Medicare.Gov and take care of it today.
If you're new to Medicare or don't understand how open enrollment works, check out "Medicare Open Enrollment--What to Do and How To Do It."
Sunday December 1, 2013
Balance billing can surprise insured people with medical bills costing hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars more than expected. It usually happens when people with health insurance get care from an out-of-network provider, or when people with Medicare get care from a doctor or hospital that doesn't accept Medicare assignment.
If your doctor or hospital is billing you for the amount remaining after your insurance company has paid, and after you've paid your deductible and coinsurance, you're being balance billed. Sometimes balance billing is legal, and sometimes it isn't.
Learn what balance billing is, how it works, when it's legal and when it's not in "Balance Billing--What It Is & How It Works."
Even if you're being balance billed legally, you have several options for how to handle it. Find out what to do about both legal and illegal balance billing in "Balance Billing--How To Handle It, What To Do."
Image © Janis Christie/Getty Images
Wednesday November 27, 2013
Whether you're shopping on the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, going through Medicare open enrollment, or picking a health plan from your employer's open enrollment choices, you'll almost certainly have a PPO among your health plan choices.
Because PPOs can be more expensive than other types of health insurance plans, you really need to understand exactly what they are, how they work, and whether a PPO will be a good fit for you. Learn more in "What Is a PPO & How Does It Work?"