The Medicare Open Enrollment begins on October 15th and ends on December 7th
Every year, Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage (HMO, PPO) plans can change their premiums, co-pays, deductibles, formularies (list of drugs covered) and preferred pharmacies. In the case of Medicare Advantage Plans, they can also drop providers from their Plan. It is important to review your options EVERY year to make sure you have the plan that works best for you for next year. This year we are anticipating that there may be some new plans and choices for you to make. Along with these new plans and choices, we expect there will be some aggressive marketing with an unusual high volume of plan-sponsored meetings.
REMEMBER!! YOU NEED TO BE SURE THAT YOUR PRIMARY CARE PHYSICIAN AND OTHER PROVIDERS ARE COVERED IN THE PLANS NETWORK BEFORE YOU CHANGE TO A DIFFERENT MEDICARE PLAN. YOU SHOULD ALSO BE SURE YOUR MEDICATIONS ARE COVERED AS WELL.
Assistance is available from the SHINE program. Call your Senior Center and ask for a SHINE appointment. Trained SHINE volunteers offer free, confidential counseling on all aspects of health insurance to anyone on Medicare.
MEDICARE UPDATE MEETINGS
We have scheduled 25 Medicare Update Meetings in the Central Massachusetts area. Check with your local Senior Center to find a meeting near your home or check our website www.shinema.org for a list of our local meetings.
CENTRAL MASS SHINE WEBSITE
The Central Mass Region has recently launched it website. You can visit us on the web at www.shinema.org. Our site has valuable general information and links to other agencies that can assist you with you insurance needs.
Trained SHINE (Serving Health Information 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. During Open Enrollment, it may take a couple of days to return your call. You can now visit us on the internet at www.shinema.org