Talking Medicare is the Senior Marketing Specialists weekly topic sheet. Information for agents to know for their clients, staff, and industry.

There Are 54 Days During The 2017 Annual Election Period (AEP) – 36 Business Days

(Saturday, October 15, 2016 to Wednesday, December 7, 2016)

  • 4,665,600 seconds
  • 77,760 minutes
  • 1296 hours
  • 7 weeks and 5 days
  • 75% of 2016

Notable dates:

  • Halloween Monday, October 31
  • Daylight Savings Time Ends Sunday, November 6
  • Election Day Tuesday, November 8
  • Veterans Day Friday, November 11
  • Thanksgiving Thursday, November 24

Reminders:

The Special Enrollment Period for discontinued plans (or Service Area Reductions) will start on

December 8, 2016 and continue through February 28, 2017, with your new 2017 plan coverage beginning on the first day of the month following enrollment.

The Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period (or MADP) begins on January 1, 2017 and continues through February 14, 2017.  During the MADP, you can drop your Medicare Advantage plan and return to original Medicare, plus you will be able to join a stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Note: This does not create a guaranteed issue situation for a Medicare supplement plan.

2017 Medicare and You Handbook Now Available

Use this handbook to find out more about Medicare and the ways to stay healthy. Look for the apple icon next to preventative services.

https://www.medicare.gov/pubs/pdf/10050-Medicare-and-You.pdf

Watch for COLA to be Announced Mid-October

Social Security announces the upcoming year’s Cost of Living Adjustment in mid-October. COLA is based on the inflation rate during the third quarter of the year compared to the last year. Since the COLA impacts Medicare premiums it is important to watch. This is a link to the Social Security site the announcement will be posted on: https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/releases/

Part B premium explained on Medicare.gov: https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/part-b-costs/part-b-costs.html

Note:

Last year CMS announced the 2016 Medicare Parts A & B premiums and deductibles on November 10, 2015.

Medicare Advantage in 2017

  • Medicare Advantage enrollment will have increased by more than 60 percent to an all-time high of 18.5 million Medicare beneficiaries. In 2017, this will represent about 32 percent of Medicare beneficiaries.

Many other indicators demonstrate that the Medicare Advantage program remains strong:

  • Access to the Medicare Advantage program remains nearly universal, with 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries having access to a health plan in their area.
  • The average number of Medicare Advantage plan choices per county is approximately unchanged from 2016, and access to supplemental benefits, such as dental and vision benefits, continues to grow.
  • Over 94 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have access to a $0 premium Medicare Advantage plan.
  • 100 percent of Medicare beneficiaries – including Medicare Advantage enrollees – have access to recommended Medicare-covered preventive services at zero cost sharing.

Source: https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2016-Fact-sheets-items/2016-09-22.html