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Queens Chronicle

Fidelis Care offers tips for seniors choosing Medicare coverage

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Posted: Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:30 am

Fidelis Care, a statewide health plan with more than 900,000 members, reminds seniors to carefully consider their healthcare needs in the coming year, when choosing their medicare coverage for 2014.

The Affordable Care Act does not affect Medicare or change the open enrollment process. Medicare 2014 open enrollment begins October 15 and ends December 7.

“Once open enrollment ends, it’s difficult for seniors to change their Medicare coverage selection for the coming year, so it’s important they take time to evaluate the coverage options,” said Pamela Hassen, Fidelis Care chief marketing officer.

Seniors can choose traditional Medicare or a Medicare Advantage product. Commonly known as Part C, Medicare Advantage provides insurance for hospitalization and inpatient care (Part A) as well as doctors’ services, outpatient care and some preventive services (Part B). It may also include prescription coverage (Part D).

“Medicare Advantage products can be attractive because they offer extra benefits, ranging from vision and dental care to flexible spending benefits and over-the-counter cards for health-related items,” Hassen said.

“In designing Fidelis Care’s Medicare Advantage products for 2014, our goal was to help seniors save money and to provide the key benefits that mean the most to members.”

In comparing Medicare Advantage products, Hassen recommends seniors consider:

Price: Is it a good value? Is it more economical to pay a monthly premium or a doctor or specialist copay?

Product: Which option has benefits that are most in line with your healthcare needs? Are your prescription drugs in the plans formulary, and does your local pharmacy participate? Can flex spending help offset costs?

Providers: Are the participating doctors and hospitals convenient for you?

Hassen suggests researching the options early, so there is no pressure to make a decision just before the Dec. 7 deadline. She recommends calling Fidelis Care if there are any questions.

“We want seniors to be comfortable with the choice they make and our Medicare representatives can walk them through the process, in person or by phone,” Hassen said.

For more information on Fidelis Care’s Medicare Advantage products call 1-888-Fidelis (343-3547) or visit fideliscare.org.

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