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Confused About Medicare? Some Resources for Open Enrollment

By October 25, 2011

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It's that time of year when any American who is 65 or older, or who has been receiving Medicare for some other reason (perhaps through disability) needs to pay attention to the plans and pricing that are available - and make the right choices for their needs and wallets.

For too many seniors, it's just confusing. But it doesn't really have to be. There are plenty of resources and there's plenty of help available if you just know where to look.

Here are a few of the basics to know about, and some resources to get you started:

What's Medicare? It's a payment system that Americans pay into all their working lives so they will have healthcare payment coverage in their senior years beginning at age 65. Learn more of the basics of Medicare (Medicare 101.)

Medicare Parts: If you've heard of Medicare Part A or Part B, or D or D, then you might wonder what the differences are. Learn more about the various Parts of Medicare and what they mean for you.

What's Medicare Open Enrollment? It's the time of year (October through early December) during which senior American citizens can make choices about how their healthcare payments will be covered for the next year beginning January 1. Learn more about Open Enrollment for Medicare 2012 (which takes place in Fall 2011) including dates and what's new for Medicare 2012.

What Are Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plans? Sometimes, even though Medicare is a federal government program, you may choose (during Open Enrollment) to work with a private insurance company to make use of your Medicare because that company might promise you more than Medicare does, especially when it comes to the drugs you can buy or the hospitalization you might need. Learn more about Medigap and Medicare Advantage Programs.

How is Medicare Affected by the Affordable Care Act (Healthcare Reform)? There are a number of improvements to the Medicare and payment systems that have already been made, and some that will update soon due to provisions in the Affordable Care Act. See what those updates are and how they will affect you.

If you still have questions about Medicare, there are a number of resources to answer your questions, including a system of volunteers who can help you make the decisions you need to make during Open Enrollment. Learn more about resources for helping you make Medicare decisions.

There - now that was easy, right?

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