Each year, the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) provides Medicare Beneficiaries the chance to review their health needs and evaluate health plans. Through Friday, Dec. 7, Oklahomans on Medicare can compare and switch coverage.GlobalHealth, an Oklahoma-based health insurance provider, is encouraging Oklahomans to review their health plans, as well as assess personal health needs to ensure they have the right coverage for 2019.

“While it is easiest to remain on your current plan, it is a worthwhile opportunity to evaluate what will work best for you in 2019 as health needs evolve, healthcare plans change and budgets shift,” said R. Scott Vaughn, GlobalHealth president and CEO. “By asking questions about monthly premiums, deductibles, the plan’s maximum out-of-pocket expenses and primary care physician copays, Oklahomans can understand whether an original Medicare or Medicare Advantage plan may work best for them.”

During AEP, Oklahomans can compare original Medicare with other Medicare options, one of which is a Medicare Advantage plan. Oklahomans should evaluate and find a plan to fit their needs and budget for 2019.

The Basics: Original Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage. Oklahomans can compare original Medicare (Parts A and B) with Medicare Advantage plans (Part C), to decide which will provide the best value. Original Medicare components cover a portion of hospital expenses, doctor bills and other medical costs. Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage that is comparable to original Medicare but will often include prescription drug coverage, (Part D) as well as offer additional benefits beyond original Medicare.

Consider cost structures. Medicare Advantage plans are generally structured to limit the amount of out-of-pocket costs. Original Medicare has a 20 percent coinsurance charge, which means you are paying 20 percent of a covered healthcare service even after you have paid your deductible, so you will keep paying a portion of the cost of services as you use them. With Medicare Advantage plans, once you hit your maximum out-of-pocket limit, the plan pays for all covered expenses. So, if you anticipate using more healthcare services next year, you may consider a Medicare Advantage plan.

Consider additional drug, vision and dental coverage. Many Medicare Advantage plans will include Part D prescription drug coverage as well as vision and dental benefits, which original Medicare does not cover.

“For many Oklahomans, the decision comes down to budget and savings. It is good to compare your options including a Medicare Advantage plan for 2019,” Vaughn said. “Lastly, beyond cost, medications and access, consider whether the plan you are leaning toward has a local presence, which can help provide personal attention and the confidence you’re receiving high-quality, affordable healthcare.”

About GlobalHealth

GlobalHealth is changing health insurance in Oklahoma. As an industry leader, GlobalHealth is an Oklahoma-based health maintenance organization covering 44,000 individuals in all 77 Oklahoma counties. Working proactively with its members, GlobalHealth engages a personalized management plan to address their specific needs and ensure the best possible health outcomes. GlobalHealth utilizes cutting edge, predictive data technology as a foundation to deliver improved healthcare as part of its commitment to making health insurance more affordable. Its membership includes state, education and municipal employees, federal employees, and individuals who are eligible for Medicare. GlobalHealth employs more than 225 associates throughout Oklahoma. To learn more, visit www.GlobalHealth.com.

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