It’s time to enroll in Medicare. The window is already open and the deadline to enroll is December 7th. Tom Sass, senior director, consumer markets Blue Cross/Blue Shield of WNY says Blue Cross has received 5 stars which is the highest quality rating you can get from the federal government so they actually have a little time after that but really December 7th is the date people have to make a decision.
Tom Sass says it’s really important to think about what services you are going to need going into next year. Once you have found out what that is, next is what are your financial goals; what do you want to pay out of pocket; what services you think you are going to need to pay for and from there talk it over with an expert.
Where do you go for expert advice? Tom Sass says there are many places to go. You can go specifically to a carrier if you have interest in their plan. He tells people to give them a call to start. They have experts on the phone that can answer a lot of your questions and go through a lot of the scenarios about what services you need and they can really help you. Then decide if you want to do something virtual or they have Medicare Center’s for those who want to do in person meetings but the call person is an expert and a carrier. They also have broker partners. You can do that as well. He says this is a good way to start so you don’t miss any of those questions that you probably need to be asking yourself.
Tom Sass also says they are always looking make sure their products are meeting the needs of their customers and one of the specific areas is access to care; access to additional benefits that those who are on the original Medicare wouldn’t receive and through a Medicare Advantage Plan you can certainly do those things. He say they are offering $100 over-the-counter benefits. Also this year, they are going to be offering a brand new product that has nationwide service. You can get a nationwide network called Freedom Nation. Even though travelling may be restricted now, one thing about having a national network especially the Blue Cross Blue Shield network, is that you have access to the best hospitals, the best network in the nation and not just locally. That’s key for some people who may need services and expertise outside of the area.
Tom goes on to say for them it is the zero dollar Blue Saver pay plan. It has been one of the fasted growing plans for the last three years and it’s a wonderful plan for people who don’t do a lot of travelling but like to have that service locally and a lot of benefits to add to it. What’s critical and what people want is great quality of care at the lowest price possible.