How do you enroll in the Medicare program?

MOLINE- National Medicare Education Week continues through Friday, September 21, and Monday September 17, UnitedHealthcare's Jake Roberts came in to discus how you can enroll in the Medicare program.

The annual enrollment period begins Monday, October 15 and goes through Friday, December 7. UnitedHealthcare created National Medicare Education Week because the number of people in need of clear information about Medicare is growing, and people like Roberts know Medicare can be confusing. 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day, and more than 62,000,000 Americans are already enrolled in Medicare.

People in the Quad City area can attend two local educational events Wednesday, September 19 and Thursday, September 20. The Wednesday event takes place at Genesis East in Davenport at 10 a.m.. The Thursday event takes place at Genesis Moline at 10 a.m. as well. To RSVP, visit NMEW.com or call 1-855-352-7920.

Residents have a seven month window around their 65th birthday to enroll. It includes your birthday month plus the three months before and the three months after. Roberts says it's best time to sign up early to avoid gaps in coverage and late enrollment penalties.

Roberts hears a lot of different questions when he's explaining this to seniors. Here are four questions he says you should ask when signing up for Medicare.

  • Is your current coverage still meeting your personal health needs, and will your benefits change next year?
  • Is your coverage a good fit for your budget?
  • Are you comfortable with the doctors and hospitals that are available with the coverage you're considering?
  • Are your medications on the formulary, or approved drug list?
  • Does the plan offer added benefits that are important to you, such as coverage of dental and vision care or a gym membership?

Roberts also explained to us the different types of Medicare Monday, parts A-D.

  • Part A provides coverage of in-patient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities as well as hospice care and some health care.
  • Part B provides coverage of the costs of doctors visits, outpatient hospital services, some home health services and durable medical equipment.
  • Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage, is an option of Medicare coverage that combines Original Medicare Parts A and B into one plan offered by private health insurers.
  • Part D helps with the cost of prescription drugs.

For more information about Medicare, visit MedicaidMadeClear.com, Meidcare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

DISCLAIMER: Plans are insured through the UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan`s contract renewal with Medicare.