When Mike and Lori Gordon sat down at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska’s (BCBSNE) recent Medicare seminar for employees and their family members, they weren’t there for themselves.

With another decade in the workforce, Lori – a BCBSNE technical analyst- wanted to know more about Medicare options for Mike’s father.

“This is my first exposure to Medicare,” Mike Gordon said. “The seminar was helpful.”

Mike and Lori are skeptical about getting Mike’s father to switch plans even when drug coverage appeared to be less expensive with a Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plan.

Lori and other employees at the seminar agreed – working at Blue Cross doesn’t always mean they know everything about insurance. With siblings nearing retirement, Lori Gordon says she gets asked a lot of questions.

“We’re programmed to pay more because we believe we will get more,” Justin Leapley, Senior Market Account Executive said. “But that’s not correct. Each person and circumstance are different, and we know meeting face-to-face helps understand Medicare better.”

Leapley outlined Blue Cross’ Medicare plans for 2020 and explained the differences between Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plans to the group.

“We know it’s complicated, but basically, Medicare Supplements do just that-they supplement government health insurance and have deductibles. Medicare Advantage is one plan, one card, one price with copays.” Leapley said.

“Medicare Advantage feels like the insurance you get at work,” Tammy Baumann, BCBSNE clinical support supervisor said.

Baumann brought her mother to the seminar. “This is very enlightening, I have some reading to do.”

Understanding the shift and educating soon-to-be retirees about Medicare is needed now more than ever.

Nebraska is aging with the retirement of baby boomers. The University of Nebraska Centers for Public Affairs Research estimates in the next three decades, the ratio of working-age adults to aging adults to drop from 5:1 in Nebraska to 3:1. Right now, nearly 200,000 Nebraskans subscribe to Medicare, 150,000 have a Medicare Supplement plan, 60,000 have a Medicare Advantage plan.

“I’m more confident now about retiring knowing what I need to do to get Medicare coverage,” Vicki Baldwin, BCBSNE group installation and enrollment coordinator said.

With Medicare seminars planned across the state during open enrollment – October 15 to December 7, Leapley plans to meet as many retirees as possible.