Seniors, it’s time to enroll in the Medicare process

MOLINE, Illinois -- Choosing a Medicare plan is one of the most important decisions a person can make, not only for their well-being, but also for their wallet.

Jake Roberts from UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement joined us Monday, October 29 on News 8 at 11, to tell us about the enrollment process. It began Monday, October 15 and continues through Friday, December 7. The enrollment period matters because it's an opportunity to make changes to your Medicare coverage, health status, and budget. Of course, your plans for those can change each year.

When you're shopping for Medicare, there are some key questions to consider: Is the plan a good fit for your budget? Are your medications covered, and is hearing, dental and vision care coverage important to you?

There are four different parts to Medicare: Parts A, B, C, and D. Part A covers in-patient care in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Part B covers doctor visits, including outpatient hospital services, some health services, and some preventative health care.

Enrollment in Medicare Advantage, which has is also called Part C, has grown more than 40% over the past five years. 10,000 Americans are turning 65 each day, and while the aging of the Baby Boomer generation is contributing to explosive growth, Medicare Advantage enrollment is rising rapidly, even when adjusting for the "age wage."

Part D helps with the cost of prescription drugs. You can enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan, or most Medicare Advantage plans also include prescription drug coverage.

There are a lot of great resources for people looking to make the process of choosing a Medicare plan easier. You can visit UHCMedicareHealthPlans.com or call 1-800-841-2895 (TTY 711).