Seniors and people with disabilities have more options from personalized Medicare plan selection service to objectively evaluate Medicare options, choose the plan best for them and reduce healthcare costs
BELLEVILLE, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Soon, more than 46.5 million people face Medicare annual enrollment and the opportunity to improve their existing Medicare coverage or reduce their healthcare costs. As the limited time for change approaches, Allsup announced today that it has expanded the Allsup Medicare Advisor® plan selection service to provide people with three distinctive options for support in evaluating and choosing their Medicare coverage. Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) representation and Medicare plan selection services.
“We know from nationwide research we conducted last year that only about 5 percent of seniors have changed their Medicare plans since enrolling,” said Adrienne Muralidharan, senior Medicare specialist for the Allsup Medicare Advisor. “The options with Medicare are simply overwhelming for many people.”
It is difficult for consumers to find current, accurate information and even more difficult to undertake side-by-side comparisons. “Unfortunately, this means millions of people are spending hundreds or thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses because they don’t have the right Medicare coverage,” Muralidharan said. Annual enrollment runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31.
To help streamline this process, Allsup has modified its Medicare plan selection services to provide three levels of support:
- Allsup Medicare Advisor Complete offers research and analysis of all a person’s coverage options including traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Part D, with or without Medigap.
- Allsup Medicare Advisor Medigap and Part D reviews options for Medigap plans in combination with traditional Medicare and Medicare Part D.
- Allsup Medicare Advisor Part D offers a closer look at Medicare Part D plans.
“Many customers want a comprehensive approach. But others just want objective analysis and support on specific coverage, such as prescription drug plans,” Muralidharan said.
Allsup Medicare Advisor is not a Medicare plan provider and does not take commissions from insurance carriers. The expanded Allsup Medicare Advisor plan selection service provides customers nationwide with one-on-one personal guidance and convenient access to online Web features. Allsup Medicare specialists provide the knowledge and objective guidance necessary to help people understand and choose affordable Medicare coverage that best meets their specific healthcare needs and preferences.
New Enrollees, Baby Boomers and 2011 Changes
Many baby boomers now turning 65 still work and may have healthcare coverage through their employer when becoming eligible for Medicare. In some cases, they only need to evaluate their prescription drug (Part D) options or supplemental coverage (Medigap).
“The different Allsup Medicare Advisor options help customers examine just the plans specific to their needs,” Muralidharan said. “After they choose their coverage, we also help them make certain they’re properly enrolled and that their Medicare benefits are coordinated with their employer benefits, so that they will not incur penalties down the road.”
In addition to new enrollees, the Allsup Medicare Advisor provides support that can benefit all other Medicare beneficiaries and their family caregivers, who often help with healthcare and financial decisions. “Ideally, people should reevaluate their Medicare coverage every year because both the plans and the individual’s health change,” Muralidharan said. “An annual review can ensure that you have the right coverage at the most affordable cost.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reports that premiums for prescription drug plans are expected to increase on average by $1 for 2011 and costs for Medicare Advantage plans will drop 1 percent on average. However, these averages do not take into consideration an individual’s specific combination of plans or healthcare needs.
“Each Medicare beneficiary needs to look at his or her own combination of coverage,” Muralidharan said. “Some people will be forced to change because their plans no longer will be offered. Others need to look closely because their plan provisions have changed. For example, certain prescription drugs they take may no longer be covered. Others may find that, rather than decreasing, their plan’s costs have increased more than they can afford.”
Allsup Medicare Advisor cuts through the complexity of evaluating Medicare plan options that include hospital (Part A), medical services (Part B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), prescription drug (Part D) and supplemental coverage (Medigap).
Allsup Medicare specialists collect information, such as prescription drugs taken and attending physician preferences. This data is then analyzed and compared to the often dozens of options available in someone’s area. A comprehensive, customized Allsup Medicare Advisor report is created and mailed to customers and includes:
- Information on the types of Medicare plans available to the customer.
- An outline of the individual’s healthcare needs and preferences.
- Details on the plans in the customer’s area that are most likely to meet their stated needs.
- General plan comparisons and detailed charts listing features of preferred plans available to the customer.
- Enrollment details.
An Allsup Medicare specialist personally reviews the report with the customer over the phone and is available to help them enroll in the plan of their choice.
Along with the Medicare evaluation process and report, customers have ongoing access to a Medicare specialist who can answer their questions, provide customized attention to their specific needs, impartial analysis of their options, and assistance each step of the way.
“People are challenged with finding experienced, reliable and objective support to help them compare plan options,” said Muralidharan. “Allsup Medicare Advisor provides this support. Our emphasis is not only detailed research on their Medicare options, but education. We work hard to help people understand more about their needs and alternatives so they can make more informed healthcare choices, reduce costs and improve the quality of their care.”
Service Availability & Additional Resources
Allsup Medicare Advisor serves customers in all U.S. states and territories. It is available during the Medicare annual enrollment period and throughout the year as individuals become eligible for enrollment. To learn more about Allsup Medicare Advisor or to take advantage of the service, go to http://medicare.allsup.com or call (888) 271-1173.
Allsup also offers more information about Medicare on its website including answers to common questions and personal stories about individuals who have used the Allsup Medicare Advisor service. Learn about a family caregiver helping find coverage for her parents and an engineer who needed help as a first-time enrollee with selecting supplemental and prescription drug coverage.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Founded in 1984, Allsup employs nearly 700 professionals who deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. The company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, visit www.Allsup.com.
The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.
KEYWORDS: United States North America Illinois
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Seniors Health Public Policy/Government Healthcare Reform Professional Services Insurance Consumer Managed Care