3. Question: When I compared drug plans online, the website said my drugs will cost more/less than what I pay today. Why?
Answer: This can occur for a number of reasons. One reason is that drug plans make changes every year. A plan's premiums may go up or down, and the drug formularies each plan covers may also change. Also, the amount of money a plan pays for each drug can change each year. Another reason prices may differ from what you actually pay is because pharmacy prices often vary. Many plans now have preferred pharmacy networks, offering you a better price if you buy your drugs from a preferred pharmacy. If you buy from a non-network pharmacy, you're likely to pay a higher price.
4. Question: Can I travel during the holidays if I haven't updated or reviewed my coverage yet? Will I have Medicare coverage on my trip?
Answer: First of all, you do not have to change your coverage during this year's AEP. The coverage you have in 2012 should carry over into 2013. However, the coverage you will have on your trip will depend to a large degree on where you travel and what type of Medicare coverage you have. Outside of the US, in most cases, Medicare won't pay for health care. And, if Medicare won't cover your charges for these medical services, your supplemental coverage won't either, though some Medicare Advantage plans do offer worldwide coverage for emergency care. It's not a bad idea to investigate travel insurance if you're heading out of the country. On the other hand, if you travel to another state, a Medicare supplement plan will have you covered. If you're on Medicare Advantage and you visit another state, contact your insurance company before you leave. Let them know you're leaving the state and find out which hospitals and providers they want you to see while you're out of their network.
5. Question: What types of long-term care benefits does Medicare provide?
Answer: Medicare will pay for up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility and any medically necessary home health care. However, Medicare does not include benefits for long-term care. Things like nursing homes or assisted living facilities that provide custodial care (dressing, bathing and using the bathroom) are not covered by Medicare and coverage for these must be purchased independently.
You may be able to get Extra Help to pay for your prescription drug premiums and costs. For more information on Extra Help, you can contact licensed eHealthInsurance agents at 888-312-5447 TTY: 711, or contact Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778; or your Medicaid office. In general, beneficiaries must use network pharmacies to access their prescription drug benefit, except in non-routine circumstances, and quantity limitations and restrictions may apply.
NOTE: Medicare beneficiaries base their plan selections on a variety of priorities, including price. eHealth and PlanPrescriber encourage Medicare beneficiaries to consider their specific needs in deciding which plans to select during the Annual Enrollment Period. Medicare has not reviewed or endorsed this information
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, America's first and largest private health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from leading insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Through the company's eHealthTechnology solution (technology.com%2f">www.eHealthTechnology.com), eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealthTechnology's exchange platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable the marketing and distribution of health insurance related products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website www.eHealthMedicare.com.
For more health insurance news and information, visit the eHealthInsurance consumer blog: Get Smart - Get Covered.
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