Older adults in our area have a new place to go to get questions answered about Medicare Advantage plans.
Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield opened a resource center in Greece to mark the beginning of the Medicare Advantage shopping season on Thursday.
Heather Smith is the director of that program for the insurer. She says the location will provide information in person.
“Folks can take a look at the plans they have currently, analyze what they have, what they’re looking for, their unique needs, and if they deem appropriate for 1/1/16,” says Smith.
Ann Marie Cook, CEO of LifeSpan, says it’s good for people to have another place to go. She says her organization takes questions from more than 5,000 older adults each year.
“A couple of questions that come up all the time are: “Are my doctors [going to] accept this insurance? And what about prescription drugs?” It’s the big thing. “Will this plan cover all my prescription drugs?” So, we go through with people, make the whole list, and then make sure they understand the costs,” says Cook.
In Monroe, Ontario, and Wayne Counties, the average premium for 2016 Medicare Advantage plans is $74 dollars, about a 10 percent increase over last year. This year, consumers will find more plans without premiums.
Following the trend for the area, Excellus premiums for Medicare Advantage plans are up this year. Their 2016 plan premiums range from having no premium to an Optimum plan with a $214 monthly premium.