LESS THAN ONE MONTH AWAY: Open Enrollment for Medicare Changes
SHINE volunteers are ready to help you review your Medicare options during the Medicare’s Part C (Medicare Advantage Plan) and Part D (Prescription Drug Plan) Annual Open Enrollment (October 15, 2016 – December 7, 2016). During the Annual Open Enrollment, you will have a chance to CHANGE your plan. This change takes effect January 1, 2017. SHINE Counselors are free and can help you understand your plan’s changes, screen you for assistance programs and discuss other options you may have. If you do not change your plan during this period you may have to stay with your existing plan for another whole year. (Note: the open enrollment may not affect those with retiree coverage).
You will receive a notice from your Prescription Drug or Medicare Advantage (HMO, PPO) Plan in September. Make sure you read this notice – it will explain the changes (premiums, copays, tiers) to your plan for 2017.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE – Appointments fill up fast! Call your senior center and make an appointment with a SHINE counselor for this year’s open enrollment. Make sure you bring the list or bottles of your current medications to the appointment and if you are a couple, please ask for two appointments. To get the updated list of SHINE locations, download the SHINE Cape & Islands Brochure 2016 .
The Barnstable County Department of Human Services administers the regional office for the Cape and Islands SHINE Program (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone). SHINE counselors provide free health insurance information, counseling, and assistance to Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers.