A state benefits official Friday urged retirees to carefully review Illinois’ new Medicare Advantage plans before making a decision about how to handle their Medicare coverage.
Janice Bonneville, deputy director of benefits for the Department of Central Management Services, said many retirees will find their costs are lower and coverage better with the new insurance plans than what they are getting under their current coverage.
“I know the original reaction from a lot of people is ‘I don’t want to do this. I’m just going to stay in federal Medicare. I’m going to buy my own plan,’” Bonneville told hundreds of retirees Friday. “Everyone has the right to do that. The request I make to every group I’ve spoken to is at least take a moment to look at what we are sending you.”
For example, she said, the state’s new Medicare Advantage drug plan does not include the infamous doughnut hole that’s part of Medicare Part D insurance plans. The doughnut hole forces participants to pay for drugs out of their own pockets when their drug expenses fall between about $2,500 and $4,500. More…