Medicare Open Enrollment in Nebraska Brings the Prospect of More Supplemental Benefits

Medicare open enrollment in Nebraska for 2020 runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. This enrollment period brings with it more opportunities for seniors to join Medicare Advantage (MA) managed care plans. These plans are expected to be popular with enrollees thanks to a limited number of personal support services.

While MA managed care plans do not cover comprehensive long-term care, they do include coverage for things like adult day-care services, caregiver support, home care, home modifications, nutrition programs and other health-related services that promote health and wellness. These benefits became available in 2019 and do not come at a higher cost to enrollees because Medicare does not pay plans to include these added benefits. Instead, the hope is that offering such services will keep Medicare recipients healthier and reduce the need for more expensive care like hospitalization.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that in 2020, approximately 500 plans will offer these supplemental benefits to more than 2.5 million Medicare recipients. An additional 250 plans or so will offer non-medical supplemental benefits to more than 1 million enrollees. Non-supplemental benefits include things like transportation to the grocery store.

In 2018, CMS adopted new rules that allowed plans to offer more primarily health-related supplemental medical benefits. These benefits are designed to maintain or improve health. They also are tailored to certain chronically ill enrollees and customized to treat particular conditions such as diabetes.

If you are enrolling in Medicare for the first time, it can be difficult to know which plan is right for you. Your needs and financial position will help you to decide. Traditional Medicare is accepted by most doctors which is important if you travel out of state. Medicare Advantage plans, on the other hand, have provider networks which mean that if you go to an out-of-network doctor or hospital, that visit may cost more or may not be covered at all. Medicare Advantage may also include prescription drug coverage while traditional Medicare does not. Traditional Medicare recipients will have to buy a separate drug plan.

At Flaxbeard Insurance Advisors, we know that it can be difficult to navigate the complexities of Medicare coverage in Nebraska. Every day we help individuals just like you choose the plan that fits their financial and medical needs. And it isn’t just new enrollees who have decisions to make. If you are not satisfied with your current Medicare coverage, fall enrollment is the time to make changes. Even if you are satisfied, it is a good idea to review your plan. With options changing from year to year, there may be a plan that offers better coverage at a lower price. Give us a call at (402) 616-7172 to learn more.




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