Saving Seniors Money

Local clinic looks to reduce insurance costs by $100,000

Choosing a Medicare insurance plan is one of the most important decisions a senior makes. Yet without proper guidance and education, many seniors end up choosing the wrong plans — and that mistake can be expensive.

Last October, Calyx Health, a doctor’s office exclusively for Medicare seniors, conducted an analysis of its patients’ secondary insurance plans and found that 80 percent would be better off on a different Medicare plan. In fact, one in four patients could not only receive more benefits but also save money — as much as $5,000 a year. 

None of this is surprising. Last month, a report from a government watchdog flagged significant usability concerns with the Medicare website’s plan finder, citing that the data available for a beneficiary to compare their Medicare options are incomplete. Medicare’s website cannot provide estimates for the cost of coverage for people with a Medigap plan, nor does it include the provider networks included with Medicare Advantage plans. This requires an individual to visit multiple websites before they can even narrow down their options.

To address this need, Calyx Advantage was created — offering free Medicare consultations to help people choose the insurance plans that best meets their healthcare needs and their budget. It also provides ongoing, local support to help people make the most of their benefits. During the 7-week enrollment period in 2018, Calyx Advantage helped Alameda seniors save more than $57,000 annually, on premiums alone. These savings were astounding, especially for individuals living on a fixed income.

This year, Calyx Advantage aims to help Bay Area seniors save more than $100,000 annually on Medicare insurance.

With Medicare’s annual enrollment period starting in about a month (Tuesday, Oct. 15, to Saturday, Dec. 7), Calyx Advantage encourages all Medicare beneficiaries to review their current Medicare coverage and compare it to new options available in 2020. 

Calyx Advantage will be hosting a seminar at the Mastick Senior Center, 1155 Santa Clara Ave., next Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 1 p.m. To learn more and RSVP, call 747-7506.

Shaily Gupta is with Calyx Advantage which provides guidance on which Medicare plans will save money and get better coverage. To schedule a free consult, call 474-0515 or visit www.calyxadvantage.com.