Given that Medicare enrollment season ends very soon, the Sunday Oregonian article titled, Medicare 2015: All the basics you need to know, is timely indeed.
If you are age 65, nearly age 65, or might be otherwise eligible for Medicare, please take note – the opportunity to enroll in or switch plans for you this year is already about half over. December 7, the deadline for Medicare enrollment, is now just a bit less than three weeks away.
Congratulations to journalist Brent Huntsberger and the Oregonian for running an extremely informative and timely summary in Sunday's newspaper (November 15, 2015) entitled, “MEDICAREGUIDE, Your path to coverage”.
I have in past posts stressed the critical importance of being covered by health insurance in today's world. Medical care expenses and prescription drug costs are high these days, and it is risky to be without good health insurance coverage. In the context of injury claims, ask any attorney who handles personal injury and wrongful death cases, and they will tell you that one of the first things they want to learn, after asking about whether a prospective client has personal injury protection and underinsured motorist coverages under their personal auto insurance policy, is whether they have health insurance coverage, either private health insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid.
If a client hurt in a car accident, truck accident, motorcycle accident, or bicycle accident, struck as a pedestrian, or bitten by a dog, has the opportunity to have their medical bills timely paid under their own auto personal injury protection or health insurance, rather than having to depend on a recovery through the sometimes slow and cumbersome process for obtaining a remedy through our civil justice system, their case outcome will likely be much better than it would be if the only option for taking care of their medical bills is a lawsuit or recovery from the insurer for the party at fault.
But what exactly is Medicare, and who may qualify for it? Obviously, it is a health insurance option for those 65 and over. Certain other persons may qualify, however, as well. An excellent explanation in simple terms, not only of who may qualify but also describing various types of Medicare coverages and plans, is set out at the Social Security website section on Medicare.
Now, back to Mr. Huntsberger's excellent article regarding Medicare from the Sunday Oregonian. It offers an overview of the time limits that apply for enrolling in or switching plans if you are Medicare eligible, and of the various options out there for basic Medicare insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, Medigap plans, and prescription drug plans, including a comprehensive chart which itemizes the premiums charged, deductible and co-pay amounts, number of providers covered, geographic regions for each plan, and much other helpful facts and data. Most importantly, in an inset entitled, “Help and Resources”, Mr. Huntsberger identifies how to learn more and get help – online, by phone, and in person.
This is topnotch journalism offering timely and detailed information on a critical and potentially very confusing subject matter. If you are Medicare eligible, or will be soon, it is a must-read. For access to the article and additional information about the Medicare enrollment process, “including expertise from columnist Brent Huntsberger and where to get help evaluating or switching plans” (quoting from the Oregonian), See Medicare 2015: All the basics you need to know