The Coast News Group
Marketplace News

Changes to Medicare: How are your costs affected?

All seniors on Medicare can take advantage of the open enrollment window coming up. The Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2012 when you can switch plans. That’s a short eight weeks. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 15, 2013, there will be a disenrollment period where you can leave your Medicare Advantage plan and go back to original Medicare.This shorter window may catch people by surprise and many could miss out on great savings opportunities. For example, if you are on United Healthcare Secure Horizons Value Plan 4 because you want to go to Scripps Clinic, but want to enroll in the new Secure Horizons/United Healthcare Plan 4 ($0 monthly premium), which now includes Scripps Clinic and saves $300 annually in premiums, you must do this before Dec. 7, 2012.

Also new in 2013 for United Healthcare/Secure Horizons clients are lower copays with no increase in premiums. Dental is now included as part of the Value/Premier plans.

In 2013, there is more help for those in the “doughnut hole,” too. The initial coverage limit has been raised to $2,970, plus there is a discount of 52.5 percent on brand name drugs once in the doughnut hole.

To learn about your new Medicare options and a no-cost Medicare review, contact Douglas Kerr, United Healthcare Advisor (Lic # 0G64783) at (760) 473-7721. He will make sense out of all the “stuff” you have been getting in the mail., or visit

Doug has lived in Encinitas for 23 years, is a member of the Encinitas Rotary Club, the Senior Network of Associated Professionals (SNAP) and the Encinitas Chamber of Commerce. Doug also conducts educational Medicare update presentations for groups. Call now for information on upcoming sessions.