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Seniors urged to act on Medicare enrollment before deadline

Medicare Advantage plans require services be provided by the designated physician network.
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. -Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is reminding seniors and their loved ones that Medicare open enrollment ends on Wednesday, December 7. Seniors who have not yet made their plan selections for 2017 are encouraged to visit Medicare or their local Department of Aging (HICAP).

"With Medicare's open enrollment deadline fast approaching it is important for seniors to be aware of their options and make informed decisions regarding their care and coverage," said Commissioner Jones.

Medicare is a federally funded insurance program for eligible participants 65 or over.

Medicare has two parts, Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).

Because Medicare does not cover 100 percent of all costs, the department recommends consumers explore Medicare Supplement Insurance options to help offset health care costs.

Before making any changes to an existing health plan, it is important for seniors to know what their current coverage provides and compare that to choices being offered, including the benefits, premium, and out-of-pocket costs.

Consumers should also confirm their physicians participate in the plan they are enrolling in.

Medicare Advantage plans require services be provided by the designated physician network.

The department also urges consumers to keep these additional tips in mind when considering a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug plan:

  • If the person you are dealing with claims to be an insurance agent, contact the California Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-4357 or visit www.insurance.ca.gov to verify license status.
  • A salesperson may not make unsolicited contact such as door-to-door sales, cold calls or approach you in a parking lot. A salesperson must have an appointment to come to your home.
  • A salesperson may not try to sell you other types of insurance coverage (such as life insurance or annuity) during any sales presentation for a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan.
  • Medicare has no official sales reps and does not send representatives to solicit your business.
  • A salesperson may not offer you free meals at promotional or sales events.
  • Contact the California Department of Insurance at 1-800-927-4357 or www.insurance.ca.gov if you have any questions about an insurance offer, scheme, or agent.