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Susan Polk Insurance, San Luis Obispo Medicare Plan Specialists, Reminds Recipients That Current Equitable Relief Period Ends May 31, 2018 

Medicare Plans San Luis Obispo

–San Luis Obispo Medicare plan specialists, Susan Polk Insurance Agency, is reminding Medicare recipients that the current program providing equitable relief for enrollment delays due to national and state-level disasters is ending on May 31, 2018. “It is important that people who were not able to enroll in Medicare due to California fires or flooding do so at once,” said agency owner, Susan Polk.

Polk has also summarized and simplified the procedures for getting medical care and medication during disasters and emergencies. “This is a checklist for Medicare recipients to print out and keep handy so that the information is easily available if it is ever needed,” said Polk.

Polk said the information is available to the public on the Medicare website, “But, people don’t always have access to a computer during a disaster. Keep copies of this checklist wherever it will be handy, in purses or wallets, in vehicle glove boxes and give copies to relatives so you’ll have the information when you need it.” In addition to the checklist, Polk also advises that people contact their individual plans to find out the best way to keep premium payments current during a disaster. Also, replace lost Medicare and insurance cards as soon as possible.

The checklist includes:

  • Contact information for obtaining equitable relief before the deadline
  • How to get medical care, including dialysis and cancer treatments
  • How to get prescriptions filled
  • How to get emergency replacements for medical equipment
  • What to do if you miss the enrollment period

Equitable relief contact information

Medicare also offers equitable relief to people who were not able to meet Part A or Part B enrollment deadlines due to national or state emergencies. The current equitable relief period is ending May 31, 2018.

To request equitable relief, Polk urges Medicare recipients to:

How to get medical care

Recipients can see a doctor and continue to receive dialysis and cancer treatments during an emergency. The following information provides telephone numbers and websites to contact with questions and for assistance.

For original Medicare

  • Call Medicare at (800) 633-4227 for information about seeing a doctor or for contact information for the local ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) Network.
  • Visit the ESRD Network website and click the interactive map to locate network providers.
  • Call the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at (800)-422-6237 between 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mon-Fri for help locating local cancer care providers. TTY: (800) 332-8615.

People on original Medicare can always see any doctor who accepts Medicare. Some rules may change in emergency or disaster areas depending on the situations, such as receiving covered services from a military provider.

The local ESRD Network (End Stage Renal Disease) can help with getting treatments and supplies, drugs, transport to treatments and emergency financial assistance

For Medicare Advantage or other Medicare insurance plans

Plans may make temporary changes to rules when health plan services get disrupted during an emergency or disaster. Check your plan’s website or contact your plan to find out what to do during an emergency. Generally, the plan allows for care from any Medicare provider even if that provider is outside the plan’s network. Prior authorization rules are usually waived during an emergency or disaster.

It is wise to keep the relevant telephone numbers in a safe place so they are available in case there is no way to look them up.

  • To receive dialysis treatments check with the plan to discover any temporary changes due to a disaster. Visit the ESRD Network website and click the interactive map to locate network providers.
  • For cancer treatments check with your plan for changes during emergencies or disasters.
  • Medicare can also provide plan contact information, call (800)-633-4227).

How to get prescriptions filled

Record the contact information for your drug plan and keep it in a safe place. In the event of a disaster the plan can help you:

  • Locate any pharmacy that can fill prescriptions
  • Locate in-network pharmacies that can fill the prescriptions
  • Get 60 to 90-day supplies of prescriptions

If you have to pay more for prescriptions than normal, you can make a claim with the Medicare drug plan for a refund. Save receipts!

How to get emergency replacements for medical equipment

To replace durable medical equipment (DME) that has been lost or damaged in a disaster, such as a wheelchair or walker, or supplies like diabetic supplies, contact:

  • Medicare at (800) 633-4227 if you have Original Medicare.
  • The Medicare Advantage or other Medicare health plan.

What to do if you miss the enrollment period

Medicare sets up special enrollment periods for people in areas hit by disasters. Call Medicare at (800) 633-4227 for the new enrollment period. The enrollment period applies to all plans.

Press release is by San Luis Obispo SEO company Access Publishing, 806 9th Street, #2D, Paso Robles, CA 93446. (805) 226-9890.

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About the author: Access Publishing

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Paso Robles Daily News on Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.