Challenges Confront Medicare Advantage Fall Election Period
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C., Sept. 15, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The COVID-19 virus will present unprecedented challenges for the forthcoming Medicare Advantage Annual Election Period (AEP) that runs from October 15 - December 7th, says Patrick Phillips, CEO of Cavulus, a leading technology provider in the industry.
Phillips points out that Medicare Advantage plans have traditionally been presented to Medicare beneficiaries in a variety of ways that includes in-office consultations, home visits, and community seminars. However, in order to adhere to COVID-19 distancing practices, the majority of interactions are now expected to be conducted through call centers and web-based options.
"Discussing detailed insurance information can be difficult over the phone," says Phillips. "Plans with seasoned call center staff will undoubtedly have an advantage over insurers who rely upon temporary staff or outsourced assistance."
For web-savvy shoppers, Phillips suggests starting with Medicare's Plan Finder.
Despite this year's challenges, Phillips maintains that qualified Medicare beneficiaries shouldn't be discouraged from shopping. "By ow, consumers should already have received an 'Annual Notice of Change' document from their insurer that outlines any modifications to premium, copayments, pharmacy, network and more," says Phillips, explaining that "annual benefits can change significantly, and for those willing to shop and switch plans, current data shows savings upward of $900 can be realized in a year."
This Annual Election Period also brings forth an important change for beneficiaries with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Phillips said that since the inception of the Medicare Advantage in 2006, consumers with ESRD have not been permitted to join the program." But, a new Trump Administration policy gives all beneficiaries with ESRD the option to enroll in an MA plan starting in 2021. According to Kaiser Family Foundation data, this expands coverage options for more than 500,000 Medicare beneficiaries.
"It may seem daunting, but consumers should compare Medicare Advantage plans every year," asserts Phillips. "The effort is worthwhile even if it only serves as a verification that you are enrolled in the best plan for your needs."
ABOUT CAVULUS - Cavulus is a technology driven specialist in Medicare Advantage insurance solutions. The Cavulus Cloud-based Medicare Advantage Platform (Cavulus MAP™) unifies marketing, sales and enrollment operations, and is utilized by many of America's top insurers, including several BlueCross/ BlueShield companies, UPMC Health Plan, Johns Hopkins Healthcare, Lumeris and United Healthcare. For details: www.cavulus.com.
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