Medicare Advantage plans in Arizona are not changing a lot for 2012. But everyone enrolled in these plans must check to be sure their Advantage plan will work for them next year, because the time to change plans is coming up. The Open Enrollment Period runs from October 15 – December 7.
If a person has issues with their Medicare Advantage plan, now is the time to act, or remain in that Advantage plan for 2012. Some people have discovered that their Medicare Advantage plan is not working for them for various reasons.
*Will your doctor(s) still accept the plan in 2012? I have heard that some doctor groups and some primary care physicians will no longer work with certain Medicare Advantage plans in 2012. (Sorry, I can’t name names because I am an insurance agent.) You should call your doctors and ask if they will be taking your plan next year.
*Have you discovered that your plan’s doctor network is too restricted/small? Some people have discovered that their plan has a limited number of specialists and other providers in its network. If that matters to you, now is the time to look into other options.
*Have prior authorizations or referrals made it difficult or impossible to get tests your doctors want you to have? Some plans make it very difficult to get approval for tests like MRIs. If this has been an issue, now is the time to look at other options.
*Are all of your brand drugs still covered by your plan? I was looking at the Annual Notice of Change for one Medicare Advantage plan and the instructions said something like, “We have decided to no longer cover certain prescriptions. We suggest you look up your prescriptions on our on-line formulary to be sure all your drugs will be covered by the plan in 2012“. That’s not a direct quote, but that was the message. It seems it is up to each person enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan or Part D plan to check to be sure their brand drugs will still be covered in 2012. Yikes.