Make Yourself Primary During Medicare Annual Enrollment
Your guide to choosing personalized, convenient primary care that helps adults 65+ age well and thrive
It's that time of year again! Your mailbox and the airwaves are likely already flooded with advertisements about the many health insurance plan options available to you and others who qualify for Medicare. There are a lot of choices – plans, premiums, deductibles, co-pays and more – and it can be confusing.
From October 15 through December 7, Medicare beneficiaries – that is, those who are 65+ or turning 65 – can review, compare and change their coverage options during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period. Changes made during this time affect coverage between January 1 and December 31, 2024.
But Medicare enrollment is only the first step in your health journey. As you navigate insurance decisions, this is a great time to focus on an equally important decision: primary care. Selecting a primary care practitioner (PCP) is as important as choosing an insurance plan. Your PCP should be your total health and well-being partner, with the skills and experience to help you thrive at every stage of life. Your PCP knows your medical history and should be one of the first stops when it comes to discussing your needs moving forward.
Whether you’ve had the same PCP for 30 years or just a few, consider if you’re getting the kind of care you need and deserve. Ask yourself if your provider…
- Specializes in the needs of people 65+ and this unique phase of life?
- Takes as much time as needed to truly understand you and your goals, values and preferences?
- Offers a dedicated team of clinicians and support staff who will stay with you over time and address your total health needs: physical, emotional, social and logistical?
- Comes right to you with convenient, on-demand primary care via virtual care visits and in-home visits when needed?
- Enables your spouse or other loved ones to be an integral part of your care team, attending virtual appointments, accessing care plan updates and communicating with your PCP and team?
If you're unable to answer yes to those questions or if they prompted you to realize that your needs have changed, it may be time to consider a new provider. Neil Patel, MD, Chief Health Officer at Patina, recommends sitting down with your loved ones and talking about your values, preferences, and what matters most when it comes to your healthcare at this stage of life. “Perhaps you want someone who has more time to see patients or more expertise in the aging process. If you're looking for a different experience, then consider starting there, then choose a Medicare plan that supports that choice,” said Dr. Neil.
Patina primary care – an in-network provider for most Medicare plans in the Greater Philadelphia and Charlotte metro areas and available at the same cost as you currently pay – is purpose-built for adults 65 and older and designed to help you live well and thrive. Your dedicated Patina team works with you to help you achieve your best possible health, along with the aging experience you want and deserve.
If your current provider isn’t right for you, remember that you can change during open enrollment or at any time. Perhaps you are moving, your regular physician is retiring, or you simply want a change. Switching to a new primary practitioner can involve paperwork and phone calls, but Patina takes on the legwork to get everything in order – we’ll even follow up with your insurer or call member services on your behalf.
“At Patina, we focus only on patients 65 and older, so we really understand how Medicare works,” said Dr. Neil. “There’s no waiting for a first appointment – or any appointments! – and we make it easy to become a patient by working with your health plan and your current provider’s office to transfer your health records and get you all set up.”
Unlike a typical primary care practice that can feel rushed and impersonal, Patina gets to know you and understands what matters most. You’ll have a relationship with a dedicated team who stays with you over time, supports your total health and well-being, and helps you anticipate and address the issues that are a natural part of aging. We’ll also coordinate with specialists, help with care navigation and take on the legwork, simplifying the process so you can focus on living your best life.
No matter your current health status or individual goals, good primary care is central to your overall health and well-being. This enrollment period, choose a plan that includes an in-network primary care practice like Patina who can help you make the most of your insurance coverage. Why wait for the kind of care you’ve always imagined?