By Holly Glen Gearhart, Contributing Writer
Between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7 Medicare recipients can change their Medicare health plan and prescription drug coverage for 2014, and information on 2014 plans is available now.
More information will be available at the East County Senior Center at the Open Enrollment Event Nov. 25, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Volunteers will be at the event to answer questions and help people compare the health and prescription plans available. Volunteers will also help low-income individuals determine whether they are eligible for extra help. Help from the volunteers, who are with the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA), is free.
Call Senior Information and Assistance at (425) 513-1900 to make an appointment.
Those unable to attend the event at ECSC can call 1(800) MEDICARE or visit www.medicare.gov for plan information. Those satisfied with their current plans don’t need to do anything—the plans will continue automatically.
The Health Insurance Marketplace that begins covering people next year does not affect people already on Medicare, according to the Medicare.gov website.
“The Marketplace won’t have any effect on your Medicare coverage,” said a statement on the site. “Your Medicare benefits aren’t changing. No matter how you get Medicare, whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll still have the same benefits and security you have now, and you won’t have to make any changes.”
In fact, those getting Medicare have legal protection from unscrupulous insurance sales practices.
“It’s against the law for someone who knows that you have Medicare to sell you a Marketplace plan, even if you have only Medicare Part A or only Part B,” the site informs. If this occurs contact Medicare and report the incident.
Reports of fraud have escalated since the ACA exchange enrollment began Oct. 1.
If you want to learn more about supplemental policies you can visit www.medicare.gov.