Inter Valley Health Plan Provides Tips To Avoid Common Medicare Enrollment Mistakes


With Medicare open enrollment underway, its important enrollees do their homework and research all the options in order to avoid costly mistakes. Whether you are a current Medicare enrollee, a newly-eligible Baby Boomer or someone helping an older adult choose a plan, there are mistakes anyone can make if not careful.

Inter Valley Health Plan (www.IVHP.com[1]), a not-for-profit Medicare Advantage Health Plan based in the Inland Empire with a 35-year history of providing Medicare health plans in Southern Calif., knows just what enrollees overlook or miss during open enrollment.

With all the policies to choose from, the small print and changes in coverage, even people in the industry get confused at times. Its critical to do the research and even get input from a Medicare Specialist to ensure you make the right choice, notes Ronald Bolding, president and chief executive officer of Inter Valley Health Plan.

Avoid making the top 5 most common enrollment mistakes:1. Going on auto-pilot and winging it:Many people get so overwhelmed and frustrated with the enrollment information, they decide to do nothing and stay in the exact same plan they had prior. Due to the changes in cost for the plan itself, medications and out-of-pocket expenses, this can be a big mistake. The plan may have been right for you prior but it certainly does not mean it will be right for you this time around.

2. Not asking for help:Even if you think youve done the research and read every line, its recommended that you ask a Medicare specialist to ensure you are not missing anything. For example, not reading and understanding the fine print in your annual plan about what benefits that have changed and which have remained could end up a costly mistake. There are also trusted family, friends and colleagues that can provide a second pair of eyes. Inter Valley Health Plan welcomes enrollees to come into their many Medicare and Information Centers[2] in Southern Calif. and talk one-on-one with a Medicare Specialist to help answer questions.

3. Ignoring the quality ratings. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates the quality of health care plans offered to Medicare beneficiaries through the Medicare Advantage program. They give each one a rating on a scale of one star (Poor) to five stars (Excellent), scoring how well plans did in several categories, including quality of care and customer service. The more stars you see, the better the plan has worked for members enrolled in it. When choosing a plan, you want to know about people who are satisfied or those that have complaints. This will help you decipher one plan from another. Inter Valley Health Plan[3] continues to have a 4 out of 5 Star rating from Medicare, meeting the needs of more than 20,800 Southern Calif. residents.

4. Overlooking the donut hole for Part D and B drugs. Medicare Part D currently pays for all covered prescription medication up to $2,960 per year. And it pays for medication above the annual out-of-pocket limit of $4,700. Between these amounts, you must pay a portion of the cost, often referred to as the donut hole or the coverage gap. Its important to have these figures in mind, especially if diagnosed with a life-threatening disease.

And, if you are diagnosed with cancer, you are often prescribed expensive cancer treatment drugs or radiation therapy. Of course you cant predict getting diagnosed with a disease like cancer, but you can financially prepare — just in case. Inter Valley Health Plan offers maximum out-of-pocket coverage that equips members with the security to know their maximum out-of-pocket costs if using Part B injectable drugs or radiation therapy.

5. Assume you are covered. When enrolling in a Medicare plan, you have to remember that it has you covered while in the U.S. only. However there may be plans that extend emergency coverage outside the U.S. You also dont want to assume your doctor is in your network. Some plans may have a narrow network of physicians in some areas, but not others. Its important to ask these kinds of questions and check carefully to ensure you know exactly what to expect when you begin your plan in January 2015.

For more information regarding Inter Valley Health Plans Medicare Advantage Plans and for helpful guides, checklists and resources on Medicare, please visit www.IVHP.com[4]

About Inter Valley Health PlanInter Valley Health Plan is a not-for-profit, federally qualified, HMO contracted with Medicare and dedicated to providing the best value in senior health care coverage. Headquartered in Pomona, Calif., Inter Valley Health Plan strives to improve the quality of life for seniors throughout its service area and is one of the oldest managed health care plans in Southern California with 35 years in business. Entrusted by 20,881 individuals stretching from Los Angeles to Orange County to Palm Springs, Riverside, Hemet, Victorville, Temecula, and virtually every city and town in between, Inter Valley Health Plan is dedicated to keeping its members healthy and strong, while maintaining non-profit and real service values. For more information, please visit www.IVHP.com[5] or call Cyndie OBrien, VP Marketing & Communications, (909) 623-6333. Also, please become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/InterValley[6].


  1. ^ www.IVHP.com (cts.businesswire.com)
  2. ^ Medicare and Information Centers (cts.businesswire.com)
  3. ^ Inter Valley Health Plan (cts.businesswire.com)
  4. ^ www.IVHP.com (cts.businesswire.com)
  5. ^ www.IVHP.com (cts.businesswire.com)
  6. ^ www.Facebook.com/InterValley (cts.businesswire.com)

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