Understanding Medicare and what it covers

Medicare is the federal insurance program for people age 65 or older and for some people with certain illnesses.

Watch Medicare Enrollment video opens a dialog

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Happy Birthday!
This is a special one, because we get to talk about your Medicare benefits and enrollment.

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All of you who are joining Medicare can now make some choices, and if you aren’t sure where to start, you’re in the right place, Aetna is here to help.

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You have three months before your 65th birthday, and three months afterwards, to sign up for Medicare, Parts A and B. This is required to get Medicare Advantage.

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The good news is, you’re automatically enrolled in part A, but you must go online at socialsecurity.gov, or visit your Social Security office to enroll in Part B.

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And before we dive right in to learn exactly what Medicare covers, watch our easy to understand and informative Medicare 101 video.

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By now, you’ve seen lots of TV commercials and bulk mail, mostly from insurance companies telling you how wonderful their Medicare Advantage plan is and why you should join it… that's pretty much what the enrollment period is all about.

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Hopefully you now understand what original Medicare is… and isn’t, and you may decide you need more insurance. About one month before your 65th birthday, a detailed outline for your Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan will arrive in the mail.

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This plan picks up where Medicare leaves off. You receive everything original Medicare offers, in addition to some great extras. The Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan gives you access to personalized nurse support, wellness programs, gym memberships, and social programs. You can see any doctor that participates with Original Medicare who is willing to treat you, so you'll likely be able to keep the doctors you have now with no interruption in your care needs.

01:43-01:55
So, there it is, Medicare enrollment in a nut shell. Congratulations on your retirement, and we hope you enjoy your golden years in health. We now return you back to your regularly scheduled birthday cake and presents.


Here are the different types of Medicare and what they cover:

  • Part A covers hospital stays.
  • Part B covers doctor visits. All Medicare enrollees pay a Part B premium each month.
  • Part C (or Medicare Advantage) combines Part A and Part B coverage. It also offers additional benefits that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as care advocacy and wellness programs. The Verizon Advantage Plan is a Medicare Advantage plan.
  • Part D covers prescription drugs. Prescription drug coverage under the Verizon Advantage Plan is administered by Express Scripts®.
Learn about Medicare Advantage

Enrolling in Medicare

For most people, the Medicare enrollment period opens three months before they turn 65 and ends three months after their birthday.

You can apply for Medicare online at socialsecurity.gov opens in a new window or enroll at your local Social Security office.

Verizon has partnered with SSDC Services to provide Medicare services for their retirees. If you have any questions related to enrolling in Medicare Parts A and/or B, please call SSDC Services at 1-866-729-9727 ext. 390. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 6 PM ET.

Getting to know the Verizon Advantage Plan

Once you get your member ID card, you can view your plan information on your secure member website. Click “Log in/Register” at the top right of the home page, and register with your member ID.

You can also reference your plan details in the information packet mailed to your home. To request for an additional packet, call 1-866-241-0356 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM, local time.

Learn about the Verizon Advantage Plan

Attend a teleconference meeting

You have three dates to choose from. Dial 1-800-926-6185 and enter the access code associated with the date that works best for you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 / 2 PM ET

Access code: 21947497 Wednesday, March 18, 2020 / 2 PM ET

Access code: 21947498 Wednesday, April 15, 2020 / 2 PM ET

Access code: 21947499

Listen to an on-demand presentation

If you are unable to attend a teleconference meeting, you can listen to an on-demand phone presentation at 1-888-203-1112 (Passcode: 2252814) or view this online video.

Watch The Verizon Advantage Plan video opens a dialog

{Slide 1}

Welcome. My name is Jason and today I will be providing you with an overview of your Verizon Advantage Plan, an Aetna Medicare Plan (PPO) with an extended service area, (ESA).

{Slide 2}

What is the Verizon Advantage plan? The Verizon Advantage Plan, an Aetna MedicareSM Plan (PPO) with an extended service area (ESA), is a PPO plan that offers affordable, quality health care coverage. And you can get care from any doctor or facility that is eligible to receive Medicare payment and willing to accept your plan. Prescription drug coverage under your Verizon Advantage Plan will continue to be administered by Express Scripts.

If you have questions about eligibility and enrollment in the Verizon Advantage Plan, contact the Verizon Benefits Center at 1-855-489-2367. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM ET.

{Slide 3}

Who is Aetna?

  • Aetna is one of the country's largest health insurers
  • We have over 166 years of experience in providing health benefits
  • We're devoted to helping our close to 1.5 million Medicare Advantage members manage and improve their health
  • We're also a highly rated plan based on quality that CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) measures. CMS is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and works to ensure all patients get the very best health care. Medicare Advantage plans are assigned a score or star rating and Aetna's national plan received 4.5 out of five stars. This means our plan is highly rated on important measures such as member satisfaction and service, helping you stay healthy, helping you manage your long-term conditions.

Our mission is dedicated to health. The Aetna plans are designed to:

  • Build a healthier world – and we know this is especially important in retirement.
  • Simplify the health care experience as we want to help you reach your full potential in life.

{Slide 4}

Not only has Aetna been around for a long time, 166 years, but we have been dealing with Medicare since the beginning as well. Back in 1966, Aetna paid the first ever Medicare claim. Our Medicare plans are something we take great pride in, to this day, ever since that first check in 1966.

Why is this important for you? We're not new to Medicare, and we’re here to help and service you.

{Slide 5}

Your Verizon Advantage Plan offers a simple, local and supportive health care experience to help you achieve your best health. And we'll show you how in today's discussion.

{Slide 6}

Today we’ll be providing you with an overview of what to expect under your Verizon Advantage Plan. We'll talk about how the plan works, and the programs you'll have access to. We'll also talk about your ability to continue seeing your current doctors. For additional benefit plan details such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance amounts, please contact Aetna. I'll give you the number at the end of the presentation.

{Slide 7}

We think you'll find that your Verizon Advantage Plan is simple and easy to use, and we'll explain how.

{Slide 8}

The Verizon Advantage Plan is a Medicare Advantage plan, which offers the convenience of having all of your Medicare Part A and Part B hospital and medical benefits, plus many additional benefit programs and enhancements — all in one package, using one ID card.

To be eligible for a Medicare Advantage plan, you must be enrolled in Parts A and B of Medicare, and you must continue to pay your Part B premium. This is typically deducted from your social security check each month. You can only be enrolled in one Medicare Advantage plan at a time, and Medicare Advantage plans don't coordinate with Medicare Supplement plans, also known as Medigap policies.

{Slide 9}

As mentioned earlier, we want things to be easy:

  • One ID card for all your medical needs
  • Additional benefit programs and enhancements
  • Care advocacy and wellness benefits that we will discuss shortly
  • One monthly Explanation of Benefits for medical services

{Slide 10}

The Verizon Advantage Plan is a PPO — or Preferred Provider Organization. That means there is no physician gatekeeper and you don’t have to see a primary care physician in order to see a specialist because referrals are not needed.

But, will your doctors accept this plan? Yes, they can if they are eligible to receive Medicare payment, and willing to accept the Plan.

The Verizon Advantage Plan provides the same level of coverage from any provider or facility that is eligible to receive Medicare payment and accepts your plan. Your cost-share amount, which includes copays and coinsurance, is the same both in and out of network, and no referrals are needed. Because Aetna has a broad nationwide network of physicians, you will have in-network providers available to you in many cases. These providers go through an extensive credentialing process with Aetna. This ensures that our members receive quality care. Also, these providers are familiar with our Aetna medical management programs, and they can help you get the most out of your plan. The Verizon Advantage Plan provides coverage nationwide. When traveling away from home, Aetna will help you find a doctor that accepts the Verizon Advantage Plan. It also covers you when you are traveling outside the country in case you have an urgent need for medical care. This includes urgent care and emergency room worldwide coverage. We encourage everyone to select a primary care physician (PCP), but this is not required.

{Slide 11}

Here are two ways to confirm that your doctor will accept the Verizon Advantage Plan:

  • You can call us at 1-866-241-0356 (TTY: 711), if you have questions about certain doctors or need help finding a new provider. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM, local time. We have a special Member Services team that is dedicated to Verizon retirees, and they will be happy to help you. They will even call your doctor's office on your behalf to confirm if they will accept our plan.
  • You can also visit our website at Verizon.AetnaMedicare.com where we have an online provider directory. But don't worry if you don't see your doctor there, our network is continually growing. And remember, you can always go outside of the Aetna Medicare network and access any provider that accepts Medicare and is willing to accept the plan.

{Slide 12}

We talked about the simplicity of the plan (one card, keeping your doctors), and we talked about where you can find detailed benefit information. Now, I'd like to share with you some of the support programs that are included in the Verizon Advantage Plan at no additional cost to you.

{Slide 13}

We value your total health — physical, emotional and social well-being. We want to help you reach your health goals and your full potential in life, however you define it. We want to support you wherever you are on your health journey, and we do so by providing additional programs and support.

With a focus on wellness, we offer the SilverSneakers fitness benefit with a membership to gyms and fitness centers. We will send you reminders for preventive services, and we have a 24-hour nurse line for those times where you just need a bit of extra advice or aren't quite sure if you need to make that appointment or go to urgent care. We support you with programs to help manage conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. For those with complex medical conditions, we offer nurse case management, assistance to prevent you from being readmitted to the hospital, and our Compassionate Care program for advanced illnesses.

All of these are included at no additional cost to you and are intended to complement your current health care; they aren't meant to replace it.

{Slide 14}

You can get a Healthy Home Visit every year. During this voluntary visit, a health care professional — either a doctor or nurse practitioner — will come to your home to review your health needs and do a home safety assessment. Family members or care givers are welcome to be present.

The visit doesn't replace care from your doctors, but we will work with them to help meet your health needs. With your permission, we will share the results with your doctor. During the visit:

  • They will do a total health screening and a thorough medication review.
  • They will focus on safety in your home and look for things that may be a fall risk, such as throw rugs or cords.
  • They will ask about your medical and family history.
  • At the end of the visit, they may recommend one of our support programs that may be helpful for you. They will also provide a report to our nurse case managers if you have a situation that could benefit from case management. This program is available at no extra cost to you. The visit will be offered upon your initial enrollment, and annually thereafter.

{Slide 15}

Also included in your Medicare Advantage plan is our voluntary diabetes program which helps many retirees keep their diabetes under control.

In this program, nurses periodically call you. They:

  • Help make sure you are taking your medications as prescribed
  • Keep track of your blood sugar levels
  • Provide coaching to help you make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Answer any questions you may have about your condition

We also have dieticians who can give you advice about your special nutrition needs.

And this program drives results, we have seen on average about 10% reduction in the blood sugar levels and an average decrease in HbA1c of 1.4 points for our plan participants.

For those who may have diabetes or know about diabetes you know those are changes which can have a significant impact on your health.

{Slide 16}

Resources For Living offers support to make life easier and more enjoyable.

A call can connect you to wide range of cost-effective and reliable local resources you may need, such as cleaning services, lawn care and home repair.

Resources For Living life consultants can help you get out and about by finding classes to learn skills and explore personal interests.

There's also help for caregivers including finding caregiver support groups, respite facilities for short-term care to relieve caregivers and life assistance to manage everyday issues.

This voluntary program is part of your Verizon Advantage Plan. There is no cost for the referrals services, but you pay the cost of any services you choose.

{Slide 17}

We understand that changing plans when you're in the middle of a health care treatment or facing surgery might be worrisome. When you transition to a Verizon Advantage Plan, our team will work with you and your physicians to make sure you continue to receive the quality care you need. This continuity of care support is specifically designed to help members who are in the middle of things such as:

  • A planned hospital visit for surgery or other procedure
  • Ongoing treatments including chemotherapy, hospice and post-op therapy
  • Care management from your current health plan
  • If this applies to you, please contact Aetna Member Services at 1-866-241-0356 (TTY: 711). Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM, local time.

{Slide 18}

With all we have gone over today, you can see that we are here to help you reach your health goals, whatever they are. As a matter of fact, we do this so well, that we have a 96% overall satisfaction rate with our Medicare Advantage plan coverage and benefits, according to the 2019 Aetna Medicare Advantage group plan member satisfaction survey.

{Slide 19}

So, what are your next steps?

After listening today, you may come up with questions about your benefits. Remember that you can call Aetna 1-866-241-0356 (TTY: 711). Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM, local time. Or you can log in to Verizon.AetnaMedicare.com and get information directly from the website. For questions on retiree benefit eligibility, or enrollment, visit Verizon.com/BenefitsConnection or call the Verizon Benefits Center at 1-855-489-2367. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM ET.

{Slide 20}

Once enrolled in the Verizon Advantage Plan for 2020, you will receive:

  • A Plan confirmation letter confirming your enrollment in the Verizon Advantage Plan
  • An ID card to use for all medical services
  • A Journey Handbook (which is a helpful new member welcome kit to get the most from your plan)
    • Includes the Evidence of Coverage with plan coverage details
    • Explains how to request a provider directory

{Slide 21}

Thank you for listening to this presentation. We hope you found the content helpful. Remember, if you have any questions, feel free to call Aetna at 1-866-241-0356 (TTY: 711). Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM, local time. Or you can log in to Verizon.AetnaMedicare.com and get information directly from the website.

{Slide 22}

We are excited for you to start enjoying your Aetna plan.

Have more questions about Medicare? To learn more about the Verizon Advantage Plan, call us at 1-866-241-0356 (TTY: 711), Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM, local time.

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