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Claremont Courier - A Local Nonprofit Newsroom

Be ready for Medicare’s open enrollment starting October 15

By Ronald Bolding, President, CEO, Inter Valley Health Plan

Annual Medicare Open Enrollment period is quickly approaching on October 15 to December 7, 2016, so don’t leave anything to chance.

It’s best to seek guidance from a local Medicare specialist. Realize that if a Medicare plan has worked well in the past, don’t assume it will be the best choice in 2017. Ask yourself if your needs have changed since first enrolling in the plan. Here are some key things to keep in mind when researching.

Premiums and Copays—Your monthly premiums and doctor copays can add up very

quickly, especially if you require regular visits due to a chronic illness or condition. These costs can seriously affect your daily living expenses.  Look at the costs very carefully and make sure you can still afford the plan you’ve had. You’ll want to be sure that your plan meets your budget and needs today.

Prescription Drug Costs—Revisit your plan to see what type of prescription drug coverage you have in place. Find out if you pay a penalty if you join a drug plan later and if there are any coverage rules that apply to your prescriptions. Think about your need for prescriptions today and in 2017. You may be used to paying a certain amount for your existing prescriptions so make sure if you do switch plans, those costs don’t increase and surprise you.

The Extras—Be sure not to ignore a Medicare plan’s extras. While some plans may offer a few extras such as educational pamphlets and perhaps a class or two per year, other plans will offer much more such as gym memberships, a series of local classes and events each month, and more personalized, convenient service.

Claremont residents can seek resources right in their neighborhood with free educational classes at Inter Valley Health Plan’s Medicare and Information Vitality Center. Don’t miss Inter Valley Health Plan’s free Open House for Open Enrollment Saturday, October 15 from 9 am to 2 pm, located at Pomona Valley Health Center Building 1601 Monte Vista Ave Suite 275, Claremont.

For a monthly schedule of Medicare and health-focused classes and events in Claremont, please visit: https://www.ivhp.com/forhealthandliving.

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