News from SHINE January 2019


The 2018 Medicare Open Enrollment period ended on December 7, but beneficiaries may still be allowed to change plans.

New Medicare Advantage Plan Open Enrollment Period

Beginning in 2019 Medicare will have a NEW Medicare Advantage Plan Open Enrollment period.  This new period will run from January 1st to March 31st of each year. During this timeframe, you can change to another Medicare Advantage Plan. You can also leave your Medicare Advantage Plan, return to Original Medicare, pick up a drug plan, and supplement coverage. YOU MUST BE IN A MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN ON JANUARY 1ST TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OEP.

For Plan year, 2019 The Tufts Medicare Preferred Plan continues to be designated as 5-star Plan by Medicare, as a reward for the excellence of their Plans. Basically, this means that Medicare Beneficiaries may enroll in or change to one of the Tufts Medicare Preferred Plans at any time between December 8, 2018 and November 30, 2019.  Blue Cross/Blue Shield Part D Plans have also been designated as Five Star Plans and the same enrollment guidelines apply.

For those with Prescription Advantage or getting “Extra Help” paying for prescription drugs:

You can change your plan during the year.  Those with Prescription Advantage can do this only once each year.  Those with “Extra Help” can change once each quarter.

If you want to take advantage of any of these opportunities call the SHINE Regional Office and a volunteer can talk you through the process and any consequences of changing plans.

Trained SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) volunteers can help you!  They offer free, unbiased, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare.  Call your senior center and ask for a SHINE appointment.  You can also call 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 3.  Once you get the SHINE answering machine, leave your name and number. A volunteer will call you back. 

 You can now visit us at our Central Mass Website for useful information and applications for various programs.

Posted in News.