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Your Quarterly Medicare Newsletter

Your Quarterly Medicare Newsletter

March 07, 2024

Discover the key considerations in choosing Medicare coverage, including costs, coverage rules, doctor choices, and travel coverage, among others. Plus, learn how to protect yourself from the Medicare COVID Test Scam, which involves fraudulent use of Medicare information for billing the government, and report any signs of illegal activity to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

What to Know About Medicare Before You Move

Before you move, research Medicare coverage options in your new location. Check whether your healthcare providers are covered, enroll in a new plan if necessary, update your address with the Social Security Administration, consider Medigap coverage, plan for prescription drug coverage, and be aware of enrollment periods. Consult with Medicare or a licensed insurance agent for accurate information.

Key Considerations of Medicare Coverage

When choosing Medicare coverage, you should consider:

  1. Medical coverage/costs
  2. Prescription drug coverage/costs
  3. Doctor and hospital choices
  4. Care quality, and travel coverage


Ensure that you understand the costs involved––including premiums, deductibles, and other expenses––and review coverage rules that impact costs. Original Medicare has no out-of-pocket limit, while Medicare Advantage plans have an annual limit. Original Medicare covers medical services and supplies, while Medicare Advantage plans must cover all services provided by Original Medicare and may offer additional benefits.

Understand how other health or prescription drug coverage works with Medicare, and join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or check whether your Medicare Advantage plan includes it. Consider doctor and hospital choices, as Original Medicare lets you use any Medicare-accepting doctor, while Medicare Advantage plans may require network providers. Consider care quality by examining plan and healthcare provider ratings and reviews. Finally, consider travel coverage, as Original Medicare generally doesn't cover care outside the U.S., and Medicare Advantage plans usually don't cover care outside the U.S. Review the "Evidence of Coverage" (EOC) and "Annual Notice of Change" (ANOC) if in a Medicare plan.1

Protect Yourself From the Medicare COVID Test Scam

Law enforcement officials have revealed an alarming increase in complaints from Medicare beneficiaries receiving unwanted COVID-19 tests. This suggests that someone may be fraudulently using their Medicare information to bill the government, potentially leading to negative consequences for Medicare coverage or benefits for recipients.

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella emphasizes that stealing taxpayer-funded resources from vulnerable individuals will not be tolerated in the state and that the state actively is collaborating with law enforcement to detect and disrupt this type of fraud. It’s crucial to report any signs of this illegal activity promptly, as experts warn that Medicare information can be as valuable to criminals as credit card or Social Security numbers. New Hampshire U.S. Attorney Jane Young acknowledges that the pandemic has provided fraudsters with numerous opportunities to exploit medical needs and services for personal gain. She urges individuals to protect themselves by not providing personal or medical information in exchange for free pandemic-related products, including test kits and vaccines. Medicare will not call and offer COVID-19 products. Anyone receiving unsolicited COVID-19 test kits or requests for their Medicare information is strongly encouraged to report it to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.2

Aurora Borealis in Lofoten, Norway

January 1: Medicare General Enrollment Begins

January 1: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Begins

January 15: Medicare Advantage/Part D Rate Release

March 31: Medicare General Enrollment Ends

March 31: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Ends

April: Flu Season Ends

September: Private plans send notice if there will be any change in cost, coverage, or service area

October 15: Medicare Open Enrollment Period Begins

November: Flu season begins

November 6 (Estimated): Medicare Parts A & B Premiums & Deductibles Announced

December 7: Medicare Open Enrollment Ends

Sources:
1. Medicare.gov, August 9, 2023
2. Justice.gov, August 9, 2023

We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or 1-800-MEDICARE to get information on all of your options.