It’s that time of year again. I’ve just been chatting with my mother about her annual task of choosing a Medicare Part D option for herself and my dad. Each year she looks at charts, chats with friends, consults with her pharmacist, studies web sites, and finally, after a great deal of thought, makes the choices.
I’ve given my mom a single piece of advice about the process, telling her to turn off or mute the television every single time an insurance commercial or infomercial appears.
Adult children need to be aware of the dates (November 15 – December 31) and also be sure that their parents are on top of the process. These dates are critical, and more than once I’ve known people who have researched the plans and made decisions, but put off doing the paperwork until after Christmas, only to forget.
For some good links on Medicare Part D choices, go over to the Our Parents blog and check out the Medicare posting. Saul Friedman’s Medicare post over at As Time Goes By is a good summary of the entire program. But adult children should take time to familiarize themselves with the process, because mistakes can be made, especially if a parent is on the older side. I highlighted a problem several days ago, writing about an advertiser who convinced a woman to buy a second policy, when only one can be used — a result of an overzealous sales pitch.
After checking out the Our Parents and As Time Goes By blogs, here are some other places where you can go to get information and learn more. Medicare.gov’s PlanFinder has a list as well as information about the plans. The MedicareBlogger’s column Medicare and More at the Tuscon, Arizona Citizen also has lots of timely and accurate information — as many as half-a-dozen recent columns feature details that will be useful along the decision-making path.
Articles that Provide Lots of Background on Health Reform, Medicare, and Post-Election Analysis
- Medicare Part D Post and PlanFinder Instructions – Transition Aging Parents blog
- The Effect of the March Health Legislation on Prescription Drug Prices, Congressional Budget Office blog
- Post-Election Analysis: Expect Few Changes in Health Reform Legislation, HealthBeat blog (pays attention to health care myths)
- Medicare Advantage, A Good and Growing Business, Medicare and More
- Medicare Enrollment Begins Nov. 15 — Here’s an Online Guide that Can Help, Los Angeles Times
- How Health Care Mattered in Yesterday’s Election, Wall Street Journal Health blog