What Should Oregon Residents Know About Medicare Benefits?

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What Should Oregon Residents Know About Medicare Benefits?

5 November 2015
 Categories: Insurance, Blog

If you're a resident of Oregon who is over age 65 and depends on Medicare as your primary health insurance coverage, you're likely continuing to scour the news for information on rising prices or Medigap eligibility. For those who are approaching their 65th birthday, the world of Medicare can seem overwhelming, and the risk of making a mistake in your insurance selection could potentially cost you thousands of dollars in non-covered expenses, a crippling blow to a limited or fixed income. What should Oregon residents know about changes in Medicare availability for the next plan year, or whether the purchase of a Medicare supplement is even the right decision?

What aspects of the Medicare plans available to Oregon residents have recently changed?

Although Medicare is a federal program that provides affordable health insurance to Americans over age 65, each state is responsible for administering this program to its residents. In addition, each state has its own specific regulations on insurance providers and the types of healthcare policies that can be offered (and the fees that can be charged and collected from consumers). As a result, the prices and availability of various Medicare supplement policies can vary widely by state. 

For Oregon residents, the open enrollment period for Medicare supplements runs through December 7, 2015, allowing you ample time to select the right policy to help cover all your healthcare needs throughout the 2016 plan year. While primary Medicare (Parts A and B) covers most doctor visits and hospital stays, you could be required to pay hefty out of pocket expenses for non-covered services, prescriptions, and other medical care. For example, the physician care and room costs involved in a hospital stay following an auto accident may be fully covered by Medicare -- but the blood transfusion you received in the ambulance in order to avoid emergency surgery may not be.

For this reason, purchasing a Medicare supplement can help keep you from experiencing financial stress as you begin receiving bills for services you don't even remember receiving. However, determining the specific supplement that provides the best value can be a challenge. 

Which Medicare supplement or policy is the best choice for you? 

You'll want to consider your anticipated medical needs throughout the next year and then the cost of the Medicare supplement (or supplements) that will fully cover these costs. While you can never fully predict what the future holds, by looking through your past care history you'll be able to get a good idea of the types of expenses your insurance has paid in the past and what you may need more coverage for in the future. For example, if you frequently travel outside the country, you'll want to ensure you purchase a Medicare supplement that will allow you to receive necessary medical care if you fall ill or are injured while traveling abroad. 

For more information about Medicare and other insurance options in areas besides Oregon, contact a company like Shifflett Insurance Services Ltd.