Medicare open enrollment begins Tuesday

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

SHERMAN, TEXAS -- There are 31 Medicare plans, with different premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

Choosing between plans can be confusing, to say the least, but it's TCOG Benefits Counselor Janet Karam's job to know the ins and outs of each plan, and to advise seniors, for free, on choosing the right plan and getting the most out of it.

"What plan may be the best for one person, is not the plan that's the best for another person," Karam said.

Karam evaluates plans for seniors based on two main things: what they can afford and what medications they're on.

She says even some higher priced plans don't cover certain medications.

"So you may get better coverage on one plan than any other, based on how they classify that medication," Karam said.

Her concern is that seniors re-commit to a plan without considering their new medications.

"A plan may cover all of your medications one year and then the next year they'll drop two of your medications off the formulary," Karam said.

Karam says that's what ends up costing consumers.

"We've seen instances where people go without the Medicare Part D plan and then they have a health crisis later on and either can't get on a Medicare Part D at that time and they have to wait until next open enrollment period comes around," Karam said.

Open enrollment starts Tuesday and runs to December 7th, for plans that go into effect January 1st.

Seniors can be connected to a counselor for free advice by simply calling 2-1-1.

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