Making a list and checking it twice isn't just for the holidays this year. If you're 65 or over or eligible for Medicare due to disability, developing a detailed list of what you have spent on your health care this past year - including hospital expenses and prescriptions - and what you need to have in your health plan next year, is an important step. The 2.3 million Medicare eligible individuals in Ohio have until Tuesday, Dec. 7, to select their Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan coverage for 2022.
Whether you're new to Medicare or are evaluating plan options for 2022, I encourage anyone who is eligible to take the time now to ensure you have adequate coverage, since the plan you select by the deadline is the plan you'll have for all of next year, with few exceptions. I know many people with Medicare are already thinking about what matters most in selecting coverage, which is great!
A new national poll from Humana found that when it comes to choosing a health plan, 69% of seniors indicated that their top concern is ensuring a plan has adequate coverage for all their health care needs. In addition, 67% of seniors said that having access to all of their health care providers will be key in choosing a plan and 64% stated that low, out-of-pocket costs will be a factor in choosing their plan. While I recognize that everyone's health needs are unique, other key considerations may be if the plan includes vision, hearing and dental coverage, if telehealth services will be covered, if transportation to medical appointments are included, or even if a gym membership is offered as a benefit.
Regardless of what's most important to you, eligible beneficiaries in Ohio should be aware of available options and utilize trusted sources that can help you with this major decision before the Dec. 7 deadline. For example, the Medicare Plan Finder on Medicare.gov can help you compare plans, benefits and get an estimated cost for each plan based on an average member. If you are interested in Medicare Part D, which helps cover the cost of prescription medications, you can also enter the names of your prescription medications to ensure those medications are covered by the plan you are considering.
Licensed sales agents are also available for one-on-one meetings, whether in-person in the Ohio area or by phone or video chat, on behalf of an insurance company. I encourage these meetings so individuals can get answers to questions and better understand plan options that can help meet your needs, both financially and medically. These conversations will help ensure you have the right Medicare plan for you in place come Jan. 1 of next year.
Medicare eligible individuals can visit www.Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Additionally, you can learn about Humana Medicare Advantage plans, which are recommended by USAA, by going to www.Humana.com/Medicare or calling 1-800-213-5286 (TTY: 711) to speak with a licensed sales agent from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.
Kathie Mancini is Humana Regional President of Medicare for Ohio.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Opinion: The clock is ticking for Medicare eligible to choose 2022 coverage