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Medicare V. Obamacare Causes Confusion for Elderly

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Confusion surrounding insurance enrollment has been a common topic lately, but this time the confusion is over medicare.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Confusion surrounding insurance enrollment has been a common topic lately, but this time the confusion is over medicare.

Some seniors are mixing up enrollment in medicare with the open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act marketplace. 

The enrollment period for both started around the same time are there is similarity in the names. The expert we spoke with said seniors on medicare should focus on their enrollment in medicare. 

Enrolling in medicare can be confusing on a good day, which is why they have advisement sessions for seniors and advisement counselors like Linda Drake. 

Linda says it's important for Medicare beneficiaries to know how they enroll in Medicare. 

"The open enrollment period is the one time of year they have the opportunity to look at the Medicare plan they are in and decide that it is still a good fit for them." 

For seniors, time spent learning about Medicare costs money. One senior even says learning his options has saved him $100 a month, which accrues to $1200 a year. 

"Right now any senior with Medicare should examine if they have what they need during open enrollment."

The open enrollment period begins October 15th and runs through December 7th.

"About a third of them incorrectly believe that they can go on an exchange and enroll in a Medicare plan. So that tells us that there's quite a bit of confusion out there because that is simply not the case there's not need to go to an exchange to enroll in a Medicare plan."

Drake advises that seniors with Medicare should focus on what Medicare has to offer using the Medicare site or with an advisor as opposed to exploring the Affordable Care marketplace. 

"It wouldn't be an advisable choice because with Medicare they have so many other options that they would probably want to explore one of the other options that is available such as a Medicare advantage, a Medicare supplement a Part D plan."

For medicare the enrollment period is the same every year. Those with questions can check out medicare.gov or contact their insurance advisor. 


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