2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Preview

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2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Starts Next Month – The Time to Request Accessible Formats is Now

Well, it’s almost that time of year again.  Medicare Open Enrollment is right around the corner so now is the perfect time to start preparing. Last year we released several articles related to Medicare, and what individuals with visual impairments can do to get accessible materials from their Medicare providers.  Many people are not aware they have the right to request accessible documents in formats such as Braille, large print, audio and accessible PDF‘s. Our goal is to change that and help educate the public on their rights to receive accessible customer communications in formats that can be read independently.

We’ll get started this year simply by sharing the dates in which you can sign-up or make changes to your current Medicare coverage.

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2016 Medicare Open Enrollment Dates

Important Open Enrollment dates to remember for Medicare Healthcare and Prescription Plan changes.

October 15, 2015 – December 7, 2015:  You must choose your Medicare plan options during this time.  For instructions on how to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B or to make changes to your current plan, visit Medicare.gov.  If you’re already enrolled and satisfied with Medicare Part A and B, there is nothing for you to do, the program will continue to operate as it has in the past minus any changes made to the program by the government.

Most Americans become eligible for Medicare when they turn 65.  Some will be enrolled automatically and some will have to apply for Medicare themselves.  If you are currently getting disability benefits or Social Security retirement benefits, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically when you turn 65.  You should receive a “Welcome to Medicare” information-packet and a new Medicare card in the mail from the Social Security Administration sometime around 3 months before your 65th birthday.

If you’re someone who is not yet collecting retirement benefits; you will need to contact the Social Security Administration to apply for Medicare.

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Accessible Medicare Documents Are Well Within Your Rights

All Americans who are blind or visually impaired have the right to equal access to all documents in alternative formats like braille, large print, audio and accessible electronic documents.  If your Medicare Insurance provider is not already providing you with the accessible format that’s right for you, we suggest you get in touch with them.  Ask for the format that will allow you to independently review all of the associated documents needed to make an educated decision on the Medicare options that fit your personal needs.

We’ve put together this short request-letter you can download and send to your provider.  Simply fill in your insurance information at the top, choose the accessible format you prefer and sign your name at the bottom.  You can then mail the completed letter to your insurance company.  Feel free to follow-up with a phone call if you don’t receive a prompt response on your request.  [Download Request-Letter Here]

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This post was written by Braille Works

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