Understanding Medicare Insurance Options for Multiple Sclerosis
- by Chasity A.
- November 06, 2017
Chasity A. is a paid employee of Teva Neuroscience, Inc.
It can be overwhelming to prepare for annual insurance updates and changes. Get ahead of the process by learning more about Medicare and reading tips to keep yourself organized. Then see how Teva’s Benefit’s Specialists could help you understand coverage options for your COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection).
Important Things to Know:
Read these tips as you’re considering Medicare. You can also call Teva’s Benefit’s Specialists at 1-800-887-8100 to discuss your questions or to learn more about your insurance coverage.
Medicare isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ program:
- There are four basic parts of coverage: Original Medicare (Parts A and B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), and prescription drug coverage (Part D).
- Medicare Advantage (Part C) is a health plan offered by private insurance companies contracted and approved by Medicare and may also include prescription drug coverage (Part D).
- Contingent on the decision you make, you may add a Medigap policy, a supplemental coverage to Original Medicare Part A and B benefits only.
- Costs can be dependent on the coverage you choose as well as the services that you receive. Regardless of the coverage choice you make, you will pay a share of your costs with premiums, deductibles, copays and co-insurances.
- If you have a limited income or need financial assistance, there are resources available from federal, state and local agencies and charitable organizations.
- Federal: Extra help with Medicare Prescription Plan cost.
- State: Medicaid and Medicare Savings programs.
- Local: Many states and local territories have programs to assist with premiums and/or other drug-related costs for those who may not be eligible for Medicaid.
- Charitable Organizations: These are non-profit 501(c)(3) foundations that provide grants for a specific diagnosis.
- There are defined times when you’re able to add, drop or make changes to your coverage. It is important to know and understand the different enrollment periods and their deadlines. You can be penalized with fees or go without coverage if you miss your cutoff date.
- Initial Enrollment Period (IEP): A 7-month period surrounding your Medicare eligibility date.
- Annual Enrollment Period (AEP): A period from October 15 through December 7 that allows anyone to make changes to their coverage.
- Special Enrollment Period (SEP): Allows you to make changes to your coverage under special qualified circumstances.
- Medigap Open Enrollment Period: The 6-month period that starts when you are both age 65 and enrolled in Part B
Organize and Strategize:
Whether you use a filing cabinet, app or spreadsheet to arrange your records, it is important to have a designated place for your paperwork to be sorted and prioritized. You should:
- Keep it simple, categorize like items, and purge the items that are no longer valid or needed.
- Have record of your insurance information including copies of cards, identification and phone numbers.
- If you need assistance, Teva’s Shared Solutions® may be able to help you understand. Before you call, prepare your information by using our Health Plan Tool.
- If you’re receiving financial assistance, you should keep award letters and set reminders of renewal and expiration dates, re-application timeframes and other important deadlines.
Everyone has personal records, important business, and never-ending to-do lists. Begin thinking about how you will choose coverage and services wisely, use your resources to reduce cost, and most important, stay organized with your paperwork and record keeping.
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Shared Solutions® Sr. Benefits Specialist
About The Author
Chasity A. has been a Medicare Benefits Specialist at Teva’s Shared Solutions® for more than five years and has nearly 10 years of Medicare experience.