With media dominated by political ads and commentary about the candidates, it’s hard not to focus on the upcoming presidential election. But it’s important for the more than 1 million seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries in the Miami area to remember that their opportunity to vote isn’t over after they head to the polls on Nov. 8.
That’s because they have not one but two elections to participate in this fall. And fortunately for them, the outcome of the second election is entirely in their hands.
From Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, seniors and other beneficiaries have the chance to “elect” their Medicare coverage for 2017 during Medicare Open Enrollment. Participating is not a civic duty, but it’s still incredibly important. The decisions people make during Medicare Open Enrollment can have a significant impact on both their health and their wallet in 2017.
Many beneficiaries have more than two dozen Medicare plans available in their area. All those options – while generally a good thing for consumers – also mean that it’s important to do some homework.
To make comparing the Medicare “candidates” easier, beneficiaries should focus on three key areas:
Choice: When it comes to Medicare, one size definitely does not fit all. You need to take the time to explore your options and understand the benefits and costs of each plan so you can choose the coverage that works best for you.
Care: The Medicare plan you select can have a major impact on your health and well-being. In addition to providing access to doctors and hospitals, your Medicare coverage can also help you live a healthier life and achieve your health goals.
Experience: Medicare can be complex and confusing. It’s important to find a plan that offers benefits that are important to you as well as support and services to help you make the most of those benefits.
I encourage all Medicare beneficiaries to make their “vote” count this fall. They can compare the “candidates” using Medicare’s Plan Finder tool on Medicare.gov.
Roger Rodriguez is the CEO UnitedHealthcare in South Florida. Serving one in five Medicare beneficiaries, including more than 1.1 million in Florida, UnitedHealthcare is the largest business dedicated to the health and well-being of seniors and other beneficiaries.