Town Talk 10/03/19: Edwards Discusses Medicare/Affordable Care Open Enrollment

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100.1 FM / 1450 AM WIZS; Local News broadcasts M-F 8am, 12pm, 5pm

Bradley Edwards, an insurance broker for CMI Insurance in Henderson, was on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss open enrollment for Medicare and Affordable Care Act insurance plans.

Changes made during open enrollment will be effective on January 1, 2020.

Medicare

Enrollment for Medicare, an insurance plan typically reserved for qualifying individuals 65 years or older, begins October 15 and runs through December 7, 2019.

In his segment, Edwards explained that what is termed “Part A and Part B” of Medicare includes deductibles and coinsurance but does not include prescription drug coverage.

“People will find ways through private health insurance to help pay for what Medicare doesn’t cover,” explained Edwards. “That can be done through a supplemental prescription drug plan or through what is called a Medicare Advantage plan.”

Edwards said that advertisements of $0 health insurance are often referring to Medicare Advantage. “Medicare Advantage plans are considered Part C of Medicare. It handles your Part A and Part B claims, plus adds in prescription drug coverage.”

In addition, Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits such as dental, vision and hearing coverage along with free gym membership.

According to Edwards, Medicare Advantage plans typically range from $0-$75 per month for qualifying individuals.

For more information on Medicare, please visit medicare.gov online.

Affordable Care Act

Also known as Obamacare, open enrollment for individual Affordable Care Act insurance plans runs November 1 through December 15, 2019.

Those that do not enroll by December 15 will not be eligible for coverage in 2020 unless they qualify for a special enrollment period.

Affordable Care offers subsidies, or tax credits, based on an individual’s annual household income.

“If someone is on an Affordable Care plan where they receive a subsidy, every year during open enrollment they can change their plan and update their income. That needs to be adjusted every year between November 1 and December 15,” Edwards stated.

Even with the Affordable Care Act, Edwards said plans still go through a private insurance company. Private insurance is also still available to individuals outside of the Obamacare marketplace.

For more information on the Affordable Care Act, please visit healthcare.gov online.

“It can get confusing in a hurry, but I can often make it pretty easy for my clients,” said Edwards. “A lot of it is going to come down to how much health and drug coverage you are going to need.”

CMI is a local Blue Cross insurance agency located at 601 S. Chestnut Street in Henderson, NC and can be reached by phone at (252) 438-2635.

(This is not a paid advertisement)

To hear Edwards’ Town Talk interview in its entirety, please click the play button below. Listen live to WIZS’ Town Talk Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on 1450AM, 100.1 FM or online at www.wizs.com.

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