Monthly Archives: September 2015

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips

Medicare Open Enrollment_Why It's Important to You

Medicare Open Enrollment can be daunting with the number of plans, the changes to existing plans and the changes to your health care needs to consider. So, where should you begin with all of this?

The first crucial step is establishing your needs. Have your health care needs changed? Have your prescription drug needs changed? These are important factors when beginning your research.

Next, establish the cost as to what type of plan may be appropriate for you. Dental, vision, hearing and preventative screenings can all be key to consider when looking at your Medicare options.

Total Care is another option to consider when examining and weighing health care plans. The Total Care Model is a health care model is built upon preventative care providing patients with access to a coordinated team. Medicare Advantage plans typically provide improved access to the Total Care Model.

Another key tip to consider is evaluating your prescription drug needs and making sure that the prescription drugs that you are currently taking can be covered under your health care plan. Medicare Part D, often referred to as prescription drug coverage, can generally be added to your Medicare plan. Medicare Advantage often allows you to receive prescription drug coverage similar to Part D. Remember that it is absolutely important to review your prescription drug needs when selecting which plan is right for you.

Above all, you should always consider your options. Some helpful tools for exploring plans can be found at Visit for more details on the Total Care Model and the advantages of Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Open Enrollment: Why It’s Important To You

Medicare Open Enrollment Tips

Medicare Open Enrollment is a crucial time for senior citizens held between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7. During this time, seniors with Medicare coverage have the opportunity to review and make adjustments to their plans. So why is this important to you?

Every year, health care plans can change – just like your individual health care needs may change. If you’re not completely satisfied with your current plan, now is the time to make adjustments in order to have your health care needs met. Following Open Enrollment, Feb. 15 through Oct. 14 is noted as the “Lock-In Period.” During this period, you may not be able to switch coverage with your Medicare plan. However, there is a period from Dec. 8 through Feb. 14 that provides the option to drop your new Medicare plan – if your new plan isn’t the best fit, you’ll have until Valentine’s Day to make a change!

This time of year, the Open Enrollment period, has also become increasingly important. According to the Pew Research Center, as many as 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 with each passing day in the U.S, and the number of Americans aging into Medicare continue to rise.

With the rise in Medicare coverage, it is important for seniors to closely examine their health care plans and look at any modifications to costs, and benefits during Open Enrollment. Every year, there are also new Medicare reforms, so it makes sense to review your current plans to spot potential improved health care opportunities.

Seniors should also consider access to the Total Care Model when considering their options during Open Enrollment. The Total Care Model is essentially a one-stop shop for your health care needs, with an entire network of health care providers working collaboratively to manage a patient’s overall health, including: primary care providers, nurses, specialists and care managers. This model of care includes a strong focus on prevention and helping patients maximize their health insurance benefits.

Medicare Open Enrollment can certainly be daunting, with a wide range of coverage options. However, the potential changes in your current plan, your personal health, as well as the potential savings make Open Enrollment a crucial time to examine what Medicare plans offer the most advantages for you.

Visit for more information on Medicare Open Enrollment. Visit for more information on the advantages of Medicare Advantage and the Total Care Model.

General Wellness

General Wellness

As we get older, our health care needs change and often increase. However, there are many things that we can all do in order to maintain our overall health. Many small changes can make a big difference in preserving and maintaining our personal wellness.

To begin, let’s start with the basics such as keeping active. Whether a walk through the neighborhood or an afternoon swim, it’s important to do something that helps promote cardiovascular health. Not only will the physical activity help in maintaining a healthier weight, it can also reduce your risk of many illnesses, sharpen the mind and increase your chances of living longer.  This, paired with a healthy diet, can prove to be a dynamic duo in maintaining your general wellness.

It’s also important to keep up-to-date with immunizations and standard health screenings. There are many preventative screenings available that can help in identifying or preventing numerous health concerns such as breast or prostate cancer. Immunizations are critical as well, and it is helpful to schedule checkups for your flu and pneumonia shots annually.

It’s also important to regularly schedule check-ups for dental, vision and hearing. We all have only one set of eyes, teeth and ears, and if we take care of them, they can last us a lifetime!

Besides our physical health, another added component to consider is also our mental health. Let’s be frank – aging can be stressful. However, that doesn’t mean that our golden years should be any less enjoyable! Physical activity can help one maintain a positive outlook, and maintaining your sense of purpose and staying connected to friends and family can improve your mental health.

Though there are many factors that can assist in maintaining our personal health, preventative care is highly important. This is a primary focus of the Total Care Model, a patient-centered health care model that provides a team of health care professionals working collaboratively to manage patients’ overall health.

Medicare Open Enrollment is an opportunity for you to explore the advantages of coordinated care and preventative health care with a Medicare Advantage plan. For more information on the advantages of preventative care, visit Visit for more information on Medicare.

The Total Care Model

Coordinated Care

Great health care makes for an even greater life. No matter the stage of life you may be in, it’s important to use a health care program that meets your individual needs. One way of achieving this is through patient-centered health care. At HealthCare Partners, we call it Total Care. With the Total Care Model, we aim to achieve the highest level of health care possible while minimizing costs. Keeping patients at the center of their own personal health care, we focus on preventative care with long-term health as our goal.

So, what is Total Care? Think of the Total Care Model as your one-stop shop for all of your health care needs, with an entire network of health care providers working collaboratively to manage your overall health, including: primary care providers, nurse practitioners, specialists and care managers. This model of care includes a strong focus on prevention and helping patients maximize their health insurance benefits.

Among your network of resources, the Total Care Model also includes screenings and immunizations, including flu and pneumonia shots. This approach to care serves as a comprehensive model designed for you to carefully manage your own health, allowing our highly skilled team of doctors, nurses, specialists and care coordinators to work together in unison on meeting your health care needs.

Total Care also includes preventative medicine – you shouldn’t ever wait until after you’re sick to see a doctor. For most of our patients, this means that you will most likely visit your primary care doctor more often, even when you are not in poor health. The Total Care Model promotes- decreased hospitalizations, improved patient outcomes and an overall greater quality of life.

During Medicare Open Enrollment, the Total Care Model may be an advantageous health care program for you to examine for your individual health care needs. If you are interested in the Total Care Model and how it may help you save on health care costs through optimizing your health, visit for more information.



Medicare 101

Medicare 101

Medicare offers multiple plans that might seem overwhelming to choose between. Where to begin? Here’s a go-to guide to help you understand what you need to know when examining which plan offers the most advantages for you.

First, there are several plans available to you through Medicare: Part A, Part B, Part C, Part D and Supplemental Policies. Each offers unique advantages, dependent upon what might be best for your individual health care needs. We’ll begin with a look at Medicare Part A.

Medicare Part A provides hospital coverage, something you obtain when you first enroll in Medicare. In general, it includes your standard hospital fees such as hospital rooms, hospital tests and hospital doctors. An advantage to this is that you’re eligible as soon as you turn 65, and even more, there are typically no premiums! However, Medicare Part A may not cover all of your health care needs.

The next option is Medicare Part B. Part B is often referred to as Medicare Insurance and offers medically necessary services and preventative services. Part B comes with a monthly premium, which can be deducted from your Social Security check. When both Part A and Part B are used, this is what we referred to as Original Medicare. However, keep in mind that though Original Medicare does cover initial basic hospital fees, it will not cover all costs and you may have to pay deductibles, co-pays or coinsurance for services that aren’t covered.

Following Medicare Part B is Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage. Much like the name implies, Medicare Advantage offers many benefits. Medicare Advantage combines Part A and Part B, and can also cover additional health care needs such as vision, dental and hearing. Many Medicare Advantage plans come with an annual deductible, designed to help keep your monthly premium down. Among these fees, you may also need to pay for co-pays and coinsurance for services you use, while paying nothing for services you do not use. Most Medicare Advantage plans also cover Total Care, a “one-stop” approach for health care offering an entire network of health care providers working collaboratively to manage a patient’s overall health, including: primary care providers, nurses, specialists and care managers. You can take advantage of Medicare Advantage either when you first turn 65, during the annual Open Enrollment period between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7 and also during special event periods such as moving or job changes.

Next on our list is Medicare Part D, known as prescription drug coverage. If you are interested in prescription drug coverage, it is important to note that each Medicare prescription drug plan has its own list of covered drugs. For those who are eligible, Part D is a supplemental addition that should be closely monitored to ensure you are taking full advantage of your prescription coverage. These drug plans can annually make changes to their coverage list (also known as formulary) and the annual open enrollment periods offer you the chance to switch plans that include your prescriptions.

Lastly, there are Supplemental Policies. Supplemental Policies, also known as Medigap, are designed to bridge the gap not fully covered in Original Medicare (Part A and Part B). Medigap policies may cover some or all of the costs for deductibles, copays and coinsurance. However, these policies typically do not cover vision, dental or long term care. To use a Medigap policy, you have to be enrolled in both Part A and Part B. However, you will need to continue to pay Part B premiums on top of any added expenses associated with Medigap.

There are many things to consider when selecting and evaluating a Medicare plan that is right for you.

Deciding between options involves careful evaluation that includes preparation, independent research, and selecting a plan that offers the most advantages for you.

Visit and for more information on which Medicare plan may be best for you and the benefits of Medicare Advantage.

The Advantage Of Medicare Advantage

The Advantage of Medicare Advantage

The Medicare Open Enrollment period is a crucial time where many senior citizens can take advantage of the multiple Medicare options available to them. But how can it benefit you? This special time provides the opportunity to adjust your health care plan for your evolving or new health care needs – and it may even save you money! But where should you begin when comparing the multiple options? One Medicare option to explore taking advantage of is Medicare Part C, better known as Medicare Advantage.

So – what is Medicare Advantage? Medicare Advantage helps with hospital costs, doctor visits, as well as other medical care. On top of that, Medicare Advantage can also offer prescription drug coverage, vision, hearing and even fitness plans – all bundled into one neat package. The premiums also tend to be less expensive than obtaining separate Medicare Part D (prescription drug) and Medigap (Medicare supplemental) coverage.

Medicare Advantage features access to the Total Care Model and can provide protection against high out-of-pocket expenses. The Total Care Model is a “one-stop” approach for health care, with an entire network of health care providers working collaboratively to manage overall health, including: primary care providers, nurse practitioners, specialists and care managers. This model of care includes a strong focus on prevention and helping patients maximize their health insurance benefits.

If you live with a chronic health condition, another advantage is that some Medicare Advantage plans offer personalized telephone care management, education, health coaching and support from registered nurses and other health professionals. Some Medicare Advantage plans also even cover pneumonia and flu shots!

So what factors should you look at when it’s time to consider what Medicare plan is most advantageous to you? As with most things in life, it’s important to closely examine your costs, as each option may vary, including the health care benefits for each plan. Next, consider your access to high-quality and reputable medical care. Is there access to the Total Care Model? Also, is the network large enough to meet your individual health needs? You should also consider ease of access to primary care physicians as well as specialists.

There are numerous Medicare plans to examine as well as many factors to consider when comparing which option is most advantageous for your individual health care needs.

Visit and for more information on Medicare Advantage while you examine your options.