More Choices for Seniors Mean Better Healthcare Options
Special to Informer | , Karen Johnson | 11/5/2012, 11:30 a.m.
United Healthcare Introduces Dual Complete Plan for District Seniors
For most seniors, getting older means having to contend with the health challenges of aging. And with that comes the reality of just how far a fixed income can stretch to meet those needs.
As a former registered nurse, I have seen strategies that seniors use to lower medical costs such as asking their doctor for generic drugs, filling prescriptions for 90 days, splitting pills, and delaying medical appointments. Realities like this serve as the catalyst for development of United Healthcare's Dual Complete Plan. We like to think of our plan as the bridge between living longer and living well.
Our Dual Complete Plan is just the latest United Healthcare effort to provide seniors with viable healthcare options that offer them peace of mind without breaking the bank. This is a great product for seniors in the District of Columbia. I'm really excited that we can offer this plan to DC residents.
Launched in 2012, this plan offers customers/clients a network of doctors, specialists as well as free transportation to medical appointments and medical supplies shipped directly to their home at no cost. Those who're eligible and who sign up for the plan receive a range of benefits designed to ease the financial burden of the rising costs of healthcare. What is good news for seniors is that this new program covers both Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D prescription drugs.
Those who meet special enrollment criteria can participate in the plan. Seniors who receive assistance from the state and Medicare are also eligible. It should be noted that all cost-sharing is based on a person's level of Medicaid eligibility.
Choosing to become a part of this plan means more choices for seniors. Regardless of who we are, almost all of us want to have real options in our health care and want to be an active participant in determining the parameters of that care. One of the best ways to do that is to be informed and being informed means learning about the choices offered and then making informed decisions about the level and scope of care.
A client's basic benefits as determined by eligibility include: paying nothing for monthly plan premiums, annual physicals, inpatient hospitalization, visits to a primary care physician and emergency care. And there are more safety nets to help senior cope. For example, those who receive full Medicaid coverage and/or get assistance from the state to pay for their Medicare Part B premium automatically qualify for Extra Help which is a low-income subsidy. This help includes help with individual's Medicare drug plan's monthly Part D premium, any yearly deductible, coinsurance, and co-pays. The benefits? No coverage gap and no late-enrollment penalties.
United Healthcare remains committed to offering District seniors the highest quality healthcare at affordable costs. This is not only good news for seniors but for their families and caregivers who want their loved ones to have access to the best health care options possible. For more information on United Healthcare's Dual Eligibility program and eligibility requirements visit www.UHCCommunityPlan.com or call 1-866-367-7257.
Karen Johnson is the Executive Director of United Healthcare Community Plan in the District of Columbia. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from The University of Michigan and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Michigan State University College of Law. Karen is an accomplished health executive with a reputation for integrity and the ability to effect change. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of the YWCA National Capital where she works closely with vulnerable women and children in the District of Columbia. She serves as a trustee for The Gathering Place board, and is also a University of Michigan Alumni Board member. Johnson resides in Washington, D.C.