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Q&A: Expert gives tips on enrolling in Medicare

Some enrollees stick with same plan although other options are available.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: November 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: November 19, 2013

Oklahomans 65 and older have a little more than two weeks left to enroll in Medicare or update their existing coverage.

Medicare open enrollment runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

Dr. Marshall Dawer, market medical director for United Health Care in North Texas and Oklahoma, answered questions about how residents can better prepare themselves before enrolling.

Q. What should people consider if they're already enrolled?

A. Dawer said it's important to give yourself enough time to review your options. This is the time to look at your plan's network and assess whether you can access the services you'll need for the coming year.

It's also good to ask yourself questions about what additional benefits you might need and what the options are with your current plan.

Enrolling in Medicare or updating a current plan is not a fun process, and it can be easy to procrastinate. However, waiting can leave you with a plan that doesn't serve you as well.

“I think many families, although the period starts in October and goes until December, people wait until the last minute, which is the wrong thing to do,” he said.

Q. What resources are available to help people understand their options?

A. The Oklahoma Insurance Department has staff ready to answer residents' questions.

This division of the department provides counseling, assistance and advocacy related to Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage, long-term care and other health coverage plans for Medicare beneficiaries, their representatives or people who will soon be eligible for Medicare. Residents can call (800) 763-2828 for assistance.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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