2012 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period: PlanPrescriber Releases Medicare Resource Guide for Consumers

New 6-step Guide Helps Medicare Beneficiaries Choose the Best Coverage
Maynard, MA – October 15, 2011 – Today, the first day of the 2012 Medicare Annual Enrollment period, PlanPrescriber (www.PlanPrescriber.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH), published a Medicare Resource Guide for consumers needing help in finding, comparing and enrolling in Medicare coverage. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for the next 19 years, an average of 11,000 people will turn 65 years-old every day, making them eligible for Medicare benefits. This means that starting this year, the first of 78 million baby boomers will begin educating themselves about their Medicare coverage options for the first time.
PlanPrescriber’s new resource guide is designed for these boomers new to Medicare and any Medicare beneficiary, or caregiver of a beneficiary, that needs assistance in understanding the basics of Medicare and important tips on choosing the right coverage.
The 2012 Medicare Annual Enrollment period (AEP) begins on October 15 and ends on December 7, 2011. During AEP, Medicare beneficiaries have the option to review and change their Medicare Part D and/or Medicare Advantage health coverage prior to the coming plan year when new plan benefits go into effect. This year’s AEP gives people the chance to review new plans for 2012 and the option to change their existing plan, if something more affordable or better suited to their needs is available.
The Medicare Resource Guide, compiled by the knowledgeable representatives at PlanPrescriber, Inc., takes Medicare-eligible consumers through a six-step process to help them understand Medicare and be better informed when they’re ready to shop for coverage. The six steps include:
  1. Assess Your Needs: this step outlines important questions to assess your personal situation and coverage needs. Questions like “What can I afford?”, “How much coverage do I need?” and others help you think about key factors before entering into the shopping process.
  2. Understand Your Options: step 2 of the guide is a primer on the basics of Medicare, looking at four parts to Medicare (Part A, B, C and D), 10 different types of supplement plans available in most states, and the multitude of Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Part D (Prescription Drug) options that consumers may be comparing. This section gives you an idea of what benefits and services are covered or not covered in each of these options.
  3. Get to Know the Lingo: When shopping for a new plan, it can be hard to understand Medicare terminology. To shop smart, you should know the basic differences between the types of coverage and the basic definitions of key terms. This section defines some of the important terms and benefits you’ll need to recognize when you compare plans.
  4. Know the Timelines: once you become eligible for Medicare, there are different timelines that can impact your ability to enroll in a plan of your choosing, or to quality for certain plans, such as Medicare Supplement plans. This step provides a helpful grid that looks at different situations, such as working or retired, and which timelines apply to each situation.
  5. Consider Prescription Drug Needs: whether you opt for Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage, in both cases you will need to decide if you want a prescription drug plan. With rising cost of prescription drugs, this step in your decision process can really impact total out-of-pocket expenses. In this section, you’ll find tips, tools and resources for choosing the optimal prescription drug plan.
  6. Take Advantage of Free, No Obligation Help: Medicare is complex, but there are lots of resources to help you apply for coverage as well as additional assistance to help with Part D, prescription drug costs, many of them free of charge and without obligation. This step provides no obligation, no-cost tools that are available to help you understand the different parts of Medicare and what they cover. These tools can help you easily compare plans.
To Download the Guide:
A PDF version of the Medicare Resource Guide can be accessed through the following locations:
-          eHealth Media Center  (http://news.ehealthinsurance.com)
-          The eHealthInsurance Blog: Get Smart, Get Covered (blog.ehealthinsurance.com)
Additional Resources
You may be able to get Extra Help to pay for your prescription drug premiums and costs. For more information on Extra Help, you can contact PlanPrescriber.com at 800-404-6968 - TTY User: 711 to be connected with a partner's licensed representative who can discuss Extra Help eligibility rules or contact Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE (1800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week; the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. TTY users should call, 1-800-325-0778; or Your Medicaid Office (only required for pieces referencing Part D benefits or cost-sharing). In general, beneficiaries must use network pharmacies to access their prescription drug benefit, except in non-routine circumstances, and quantity limitations and restrictions may apply.
Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.
About PlanPrescriber.com
PlanPrescriber (www.planprescriber.com), a wholly-owned subsidiary of eHealth, Inc., is a leading provider of comparison tools and educational materials for Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, and Medicare Supplement insurance products. Medicare beneficiaries can take advantage of PlanPrescriber's no cost, no obligation online advisor tools by logging on to http://www.PlanPrescriber.com. PlanPrescriber is a tool designed to help Medicare beneficiaries find a Medicare plan that covers their specific medical and prescription drug needs at the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost.
About eHealth 
eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation's leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company's website,www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation's leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through eHealth's technology solutions (www.eHealthTechnology.com), is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealth provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides online tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options through PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and eHealthMedicare (www.eHealthMedicare.com).
For more news and information about health insurance, health reform and Medicare, visit eHealth's consumer blog: Get Smart - Get Covered.