Do you have questions about Medicare?
Whether you are new to Medicare or would like to reevaluate your current plan, it’s a good time to look into the options that are available to you, especially since the Medicare open enrollment is in full swing.
The Area Agency on Aging, Region One, in partnership with Neighbors Who Care, is providing free Medicare counseling services through the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) on Friday afternoons at the Neighbors Who Care office in Sun Lakes. These services are offered to anyone interested in understanding all of their Medicare options at NO COST from a counselor who is NOT affiliated with any insurance company. You can get personalized counseling based on your individual needs.
According to Area Agency on Aging Medicare counselor Judy Riefe, it is always a good idea to look into your Medicare plan at open enrollment time, even if you are satisfied with your current plan. Trained Medicare counselors such as Judy have a wealth of knowledge about the Medicare law as well as changes that occur each year. You may also be surprised to learn that it is possible to save money by switching plans without compromising your current healthcare options.
“Everyone with a stand-alone prescription drug (Medicare Part D) should reassess their plan annually during the open enrollment period,” Judy says. “Often, the premium for the plan you have is going up and/or the co-pays for the drugs are going up. There are companies that want your business, so they may be offering lower premiums and/or co-pays.”
What You Should Know
Open enrollment began last month and continues through December 7, 2018. If you have a Prescription Drug Plan, you can take advantage of this open enrollment period to compare your current plan with other available plans and to ensure that you are not paying too much for prescription drugs. This is also an opportunity to consider other Advantage Plans.
Low-income programs are also available to assist with paying medical expenses. If you are having difficulty paying for premiums, co-pays or drug costs, you may be eligible for some assistance.
Scheduling Your Appointment
Friday afternoon appointments with Judy Riefe are available now by calling the Neighbors Who Care office at 480-895-7133. There are only three, one-hour appointment slots each Friday (except the day after Thanksgiving), but appointments will run continuously, even after open enrollment ends on December 7. Neighbors Who Care is located at 10450 E. Riggs Road, Suite 113, Sun Lakes.
What to Bring
In order to find the best possible plan for your needs, it is best to bring the following:
* Medicare card
* Any current supplemental insurance or health care cards
* A list of your current medications, including dosages and frequency
Planning for the Future
Medicare counseling can still be helpful even when open enrollment ends. For example, if you are nearing age 65 and need to understand how Medicare works and what options are available to you, getting information in advance can prepare you for the day when you select your own Medicare plan. Judy will still be available for Friday appointments in the Neighbors Who Care office after open enrollment ends for anyone who has questions of any kind about Medicare.
Neighbors Who Care is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization serving homebound seniors in Sun Lakes/south Chandler. Through services such as transportation to medical appointments, grocery shopping, friendly visiting, minor repairs, and respite care, our clients are offered the freedom to remain in their homes for as long as feasibly possible. To learn more or to become a volunteer or donor, please call us at 480-895-7133.