February Medicare Must-Knows

By RetireMEDiQ

RetireMEDiQ strives to keep individuals informed about the latest Medicare news. Each month, we recap the top information you need to know about recent developments in the Medicare industry.

Explore Potential New Supplemental Benefits Included on Your Medicare Advantage Plan

Almost half of Medicare Advantage plans added new supplemental benefits for the 2019 plan year. The benefits, such as assistive devices, transportation to physician visits and caregiver support services, were designed to improve the health and wellbeing of Medicare beneficiaries. If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan and would like to know of any new supplemental benefits included on your plan, we recommend that you reference your plan’s Summary of Benefits.

Medicare Part D Coverage Gap to Close This Year for Brand-Name Drugs

As a result of the government expediting changes to the coverage gap or “donut hole,” the positive changes within the donut hole originally scheduled for 2020 are effective this year for brand-name drugs. This means that if you enter the coverage gap, you will pay a coinsurance of 37 percent for covered generic drugs and 25 percent for covered brand-name drugs through the end of 2019. The donut hole will close in 2020 for generic drugs.

Schedule Your Annual Wellness Visit Soon

Are you making a point to prioritize your health this year? If so, you have an opportunity to start the year off right through your Medicare plan.

The annual Medicare Wellness Visit is an important benefit covered by Medicare Part B and allows you to be proactive about your health. Unlike a routine physical, your wellness visit is more focused on reviewing your current health with your doctor and coming up with a plan to reduce your risks. Here are a few elements you can expect to be included in your Annual Wellness Visit:

  • Review of your medical and family history
  • Screening for depression and memory problems
  • Medical advice from your doctor about health concerns or risk factors

If you would like to know more about what you can expect from your wellness visit, visit our blog.

Take Advantage of Medicare’s Free Preventive Services

In addition to the Annual Wellness Visit, Medicare Part B also covers a variety of preventive health services. During your wellness visit and throughout the year, we encourage you to talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have and discuss which preventive services your doctor would recommend for you.

For those who meet certain requirements, services that are covered include diabetes screening, education and supplies, weight loss counseling, nutrition therapy services, various disease screenings, and smoking and tobacco use cessation.

For more information on the services covered, see our blog on Medicare’s preventive services.

We’d Love to Hear from You!

If you have questions about anything covered in this post, please comment below, call our Client Services team at 1-877-222-1942 or email us at client@retiremediq.com.

If you are not yet a RetireMEDiQ client and have questions about how these topics may affect you as you approach retirement, contact our team of Benefit Advisors at 1-866-600-5638.

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