Department of Aging: Open registration for Medicare begins, free insurance advice available

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The Pennsylvania Department of Aging (PDA) reminds consumers that the annual open enrollment period for Medicare beneficiaries ends Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Any new coverage selected or changes to existing benefits take effect January 1, 2022.

During open enrollment, new Medicare beneficiaries can purchase prescription drug coverage and health plans to supplement Medicare, and current Medicare beneficiaries can view and join, change or discontinue Medicare Advantage or Medicare coverage. prescription drugs to better meet their needs.

To help Medicare beneficiaries sort through their options, the department offers free, objective advice on health benefits through Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight – or PA MEDI. Through the 52 Pennsylvania Regional Agencies on Aging (AAA), PA MEDI advisors can help Medicare beneficiaries compare plans, enroll in a new plan, and assess eligibility for one. Pennsylvania Medicare cost reduction programs.

“Navigating health care options can be confusing, tedious and overwhelming. Whether a senior is a new beneficiary or a current beneficiary of Medicare interested in learning about all of their coverage options, we encourage all seniors to take advantage of the free independent counseling services available through PA MEDI, ”said Secretary of Aging Robert Torres. “Trained PA MEDI counselors can guide beneficiaries in their choices and help them be more informed and confident in deciding which options may be best for them.

Secretary Torres added that the department recently launched a page on its seniors website to find PA MEDI events and programs in their local county.

PA MEDI provides free, confidential, objective, and easy-to-understand information about Medicare Advantage plans, prescription drug plans, and Medicare supplement plans allowing Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans and determine what works best for you. their needs. This work is done with the help of nearly 650 PA MEDI volunteers housed in local AAAs across the Commonwealth.

Earlier this year, PDA’s Education & Outreach Office rebranded its State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) which provides free Medicare counseling and education, from the former name APPRISE to Pennsylvania Medicare Education and Decision Insight, PA. MEDI. The rebranding helps improve public awareness of the program and the valuable services it provides to help Pennsylvania’s Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and their caregivers make informed health insurance decisions that optimize benefits. cost savings and access to health care benefits.

Individuals can find out more about PA MEDI, events and programs, or become a volunteer on the Department of Aging website or by calling the PA MEDI helpline at 1-800-783-7067, Monday through Friday. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seniors can also call their local AAA.


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