November 1, 2012

PUBLIC FORUM: Seniors should thank hospital

— I work with over 1,100 Seniors clients on their health and drug plans and between Oct. 15 and Dec 7, most them come in for their annual enrollment period review. This is very important because most, if not all, senior health and drug plans change every Jan 1. In addition, new cost-effective plans sometimes become available that were not available the prior year. 2013 is one of those years. I was excited to see that a plan that had been available in Howard, Hamilton and Marion counties in 2012 was going to be available in Cass and most of the surrounding counties in 2013 but became very concerned when I saw that Memorial Hospital was not in the provider network. 

On my lunch, I decided to place a call to David Ameen, chief executive officer at Memorial Hospital, and discuss my concerns with him. I expected to talk to his secretary or leave a voicemail, but to my surprise, he answered the phone. Within the first minute or two of our conversation, he assured me that Memorial Hospital and many of the local physicians would be joining the provider network of the new Senior Health plan and I received word today that they are officially a network provider.

What does that mean to local seniors? For hundreds of my clients, it means that the premium for their health and drug plan will be reduced by $408 a year, their maximum out of pocket health expenses will be reduced by $2,400 (if they go to Memorial Hospital or any of the other network hospitals), their doctor visit co-pay (if in provider network) will be reduced from $20 per visit to $0 per visit and their drug plan deductible will be eliminated. This could save them hundreds if not thousands of dollars in 2013.

I personally want to thank David Ameen on his quick action regarding this matter along with all the local doctors who will now be participating. I hope that the local seniors thank them, too.

David Packard

Packard & Nason Insurance