2013-10-30 / General

Area Medicare Open Enrollment Counseling

Medicare Open Enrollment Counseling is available by appointment, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Area 10 Agency on Aging in Ellettsville, or at IU Health-Bloomington Hospital.

Medicare Open Enrollment is from October 15-December 7. Your health needs change from year to year. And, your health plan may change the benefits and costs each year too. That’s why it’s important to evaluate your Medicare choices regularly. Open Enrollment is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can see what new benefits Medicare has to offer and make changes to their coverage. It’s worth it to take the time to review and compare, but you don’t have to do it alone. Help is available through SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program). Counselors can answer your questions and help you find the best plan at the best price. Local sponsors Area 10 Agency on Aging and IU Health Bloomington Hospital provide one-on-one assistance to help people sort through Prescription Drug Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans. Also, if you have limited income and resources, you may be able to get help paying your prescription drug coverage costs and other healthcare costs.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that more than two million people with Medicare may be eligible for the subsidy, but are not currently enrolled to take advantage of these savings. A recent law changed how your income and assets are counted, so even if you were previously turned down due to income or resource levels, you should reapply. Keep in mind that Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace. The new Health Insurance Marketplace won’t affect your Medicare coverage and is not part of Medicare Open Enrollment which occurs from October 15 to December 7. You do not need to enroll in the new Health Insurance Marketplace to maintain or change your Medicare coverage. Criminals are trying to scam seniors with false information regarding Medicare and the Affordable Care Act. Never give your Medicare number to someone who calls or visits and requests this information.

Call to make your appointment anytime during Open Enrollment to discuss prescription coverage or any other Medicare questions:

•Area 10 Agency on Aging – 812-876-3383

•IU Health-Bloomington Hospital – 812-353-9300

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