It's time for Medicare recipients to think about their Medicare insurance for 2018. VIVA MEDICARE stopped by Studio 10 to help us understand some of the important items beneficiaries should consider right now.
These questions and answers below were provided by VIVA MEDICARE:
Q. What is AEP?
A. AEP is the Annual Enrollment Period, which began Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7th. This is the time where anyone with Original Medicare or a Medicare Plan can change their health insurance coverage. Medicare can be confusing and plans can change from year to year. For example, insurance companies can change their doctor and hospital network, their drug formulary and even exit counties. It is important for those on Medicare Plans to research their options and understand their coverage prior to Dec 7th. In many cases after Dec 7th you are locked into your plan for the following calendar year.
Q. What coverage options are available for someone with Medicare?
A. There are basically two options. Someone can choose a Medicare Supplement and Stand-alone Part D plan or a Medicare Advantage plan which covers hospital, medical and prescription drugs all in one plan - which is what we offer at VIVA. Many times Medicare Advantage plans have low affordable premiums and include services above what Medicare covers.
Q. What should people consider when looking at enrolling in a plan?
A1. Are my doctors and medications covered?
A2. Will I have coverage if I travel outside the coverage area? (VIVA Medicare has urgent and emergency coverage anywhere in the US. We also cover worldwide emergency)
A3. Will it be easy to get my questions answered before and after I enroll? (Live person at VIVA)
A4. How happy are current members on the plans I'm reviewing? (VIVA Medicare has been rated the highest in member satisfaction per the Medicare and You handbook for 8 years running)
Q. What are some benefits of choosing VIVA MEDICARE?
A. U.S. News & World Report has named VIVA MEDICARE as one of the country's best Medicare Advantage plans, the only Medicare plan in Alabama to make the prestigious 2018 ranking. VIVA MEDICARE's ranking is based off the overall quality score it earned from Medicare.
For 2018, VIVA MEDICARE earned 4.5 out of 5 stars from Medicare on its Medicare quality performance, the first and only Alabama-based health plan to achieve that distinction. The score is based on 48 different quality measures that illustrate everything from customer service to how well the health plan helps its members stay healthy.
For the eighth consecutive year, VIVA MEDICARE has earned the top customer satisfaction survey score in the state, according to the Medicare & You handbook.
Q. What areas in Alabama can receive coverage?
A. VIVA MEDICARE is expanding into Northwest Alabama for 2018 and will offer health plans in Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin Counties as well as the 24 counties it currently serves. The VIVA MEDICARE network includes 60 hospitals and more than 7,000 doctors and other providers across Alabama as well as worldwide emergency coverage. Medicare recipients should visit www.medicare.gov to review their coverage choices for next year. The website shows the health plan choices by zip code, the health plans' Medicare quality ratings and their monthly premiums, copayments, deductibles, and the network of hospitals, doctors and other providers from whom a member can seek care.
Q. How can someone get educated about Medicare and all the options available?
A. People can call us at 1-888-830-VIVA(8482) or go to our website at vivahealth.com/Medicare to ask questions or schedule a meeting. VIVA MEDICARE is also unique in that we are the ONLY insurance company that has retail locations, VIVA Health Cafés, around the state where you can speak with someone face to face.