WellCare Launches “Cost of Complacency” Campaign

When it comes to your cell phone bill, do you ever find yourself on the lookout for plans that are a better deal? And, when your monthly cable bill rolls in, have you ever examined the bill in search of where you can save?Survey Graphic

Today, searching for better deals on expenses is commonplace, but for seniors, there seems to be one major exception to deal-seeking: their Medicare plan.

According to the new national survey “The Cost of Complacency” released by WellCare, 62 percent of seniors do not review their Medicare plans to find the best deal and, in fact, are more likely to look for money-saving deals on all other common living expenses, such as utilities, cell phone and internet plans, travel and groceries.

This is an interesting finding considering that these same seniors ranked healthcare expenses as their most burdensome living expense.

These are concerning results because seniors’ health and healthcare needs generally change annually. If they don’t review their Medicare coverage and, instead, leave it on annual “auto-pilot,” they may be facing inadequate coverage and, consequently, financial risk.

However, if seniors do invest the time to comparison shop, they could be putting more money back into their pockets. According to a Kaiser Health study, people who switched Medicare plans after comparison shopping saved on average almost $200 a year. For someone who is on Medicare for 20 years, that adds up to $4,000 in savings per person.

As part of its “Cost of Complacency” campaign, WellCare is teaming up with Sally Greenberg, executive director of the National Consumers League, as well as Bart Astor, author of the Washington Post bestseller, AARP Roadmap for the Rest of Your Life, to encourage seniors to invest the time to review their Medicare coverage. Whether they have traditional Medicare, a supplemental plan or Medicare Advantage, seniors have until December 7 to review and make decisions about their Medicare coverage for 2018.

The survey, which queried 1,026 Medicare-eligible seniors and was conducted by Kelton Global revealed a host of other findings, including:

  • More seniors comparison shop to save money for groceries (54 percent), homeowners/automotive insurance (45 percent) or gas (44 percent) than their Medicare plan (33 percent);
  • Approximately three in five (58 percent) seniors see reviewing their Medicare plan as a necessary task they don’t look forward to, and one in five (20 percent) would describe the experience as awful; and,
  • 57 percent of seniors review their Medicare plan by themselves.

WellCare has resources available to help seniors review their plans so they don’t have to go it alone…and it doesn’t need to be awful!

If you’re a senior in need of assistance, please call 1-877-841-6072 (TTY 711) or check out WellCare’s Medicare Advantage options at www.WellCareNow.com.

The Value of Our Nation’s Health Centers

By Carol Steckel

It’s National Health Center Week, and as I reflect over the past few days, I can still remember standing in awe the first time I visited Franklin Primary Health Center’s Medical Mall in Mobile, Alabama. People of all races and conditions were getting the health care they needed—all in one place.

I also remember the health centers in North Carolina and the work they do to provide essential services to people without access to primary care. The caring, the compassion and the commitment to those they serve rang out loud and clear.

What many people don’t realize is how critically important health centers are to both our health care system and to the millions of underserved Americans across the country. Continue reading “The Value of Our Nation’s Health Centers”