September 28, 2017
By John D.
Doak, Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner
more than 678,000 Oklahomans are enrolled in Medicare. Are all
of those beneficiaries getting the proper coverage at the most
affordable price based on their respective budgets? Unfortunately,
the answer is likely no but there is a solution available during
the Medicare Open Enrollment period.
Open Enrollment period runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. During
this time, beneficiaries can review their current medical and
prescription drug coverage, as well as explore new options available
to them that could provide better coverage at a reduced cost.
Did you know
that last year there were 20 different prescription drug plans
available to Medicare beneficiaries ranging in price from $17
to $166 a month? Most people would likely pick the cheaper option
to save money. However, sometimes the cheaper option isnt
always the best option. For example, what if a beneficiary were
to enroll in the cheaper plan option only to find out that a particular
medication he or she was prescribed isn't covered under the cheaper
plan? In that scenario, it would mean that the cheaper plan wouldn't
cover any of the costs for that drug, which would result in the
beneficiary having to pay the full price for that medication.
Ultimately, the beneficiary in that situation could actually wind
up spending twice as much or more for his or her drug costs that
Here are some
other considerations for Medicare beneficiaries to think about
Did your physician prescribe a new medication for you in
the last year?
If so, will your current prescription drug plan cover that
new medication or is there another drug plan available that will
cover it and could help save you money?
Have you noticed that the monthly premium or co-pay amount
for your current drug plan, which does cover all of your prescribed
medications, has increased significantly?
With so many
different Medicare plans available, each with different monthly
costs, co-pays and drug lists, how do you make the best decision
where the Medicare Assistance Program (MAP) at the Oklahoma Insurance
Department comes in. MAP is a grant-funded program that offers
free, unbiased counseling to Medicare beneficiaries concerning
their different options for Medicare coverage. MAP counselors
are available to meet with seniors in-person or on the phone to
answer questions about original Medicare, Medicare supplement
insurance, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare prescription
drug plans. Within that, MAP counselors can help Oklahoma seniors
evaluate their current coverage and explore the options available
to them for the coming year.
MAP counselors helped Oklahoma seniors save, on average, an estimated
$2,100 per person. In addition, MAP can help Oklahoma seniors
living on fixed incomes in applying for financial assistance to
cover their medical and/or prescription drug costs.
trained counselors across Oklahoma available to assist and provide
a more personal approach to Medicare coverage counseling. Please
call 800-763-2828 to find a counselor near you.
Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma,
is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying
public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
For more information,