Medicare Open Enrollment is right around the corner! That’s the period of time from October 15 through December 7 when eligible Medicare beneficiaries can make changes to their health and prescription drug coverage plans without penalty. Seniors and other eligible beneficiaries who have questions about their Medicare options for 2019 are encouraged to contact FCS at 732-728-1331 to schedule a free, confidential appointment with a qualified State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor.
Samantha White, FCS Director of Volunteer Services says specially trained SHIP staff and volunteers are available to help eligible beneficiaries cut through the confusion and stress of the Open Enrollment process. “We don’t provide legal advice or recommend any specific insurance product or provider,” White explains. “We simply help evaluate the best Medicare and Medicare Part D coverage options to meet your needs. We can also help determine if you may qualify for Medicare Savings which assists with prescription drug costs and Part B premiums.”
Current or newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries can make a number of changes to their plans during the Open Enrollment period, including:
- Change from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Change from a Medicare Advantage Plan back to Original Medicare.
- Switch from one Medicare Advantage Plan to another Medicare Advantage Plan.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage.
- Switch from a Medicare Advantage Plan that offers drug coverage to a Medicare Advantage Plan that doesn’t offer drug coverage.
- Join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan.
- Switch from one Medicare Prescription Drug Plan to another.
- Drop your Medicare prescription drug coverage completely.
Even if you don’t plan to make changes to your coverage, White encourages all Medicare beneficiaries to re-evaluate their insurance annually. To learn more about changes to Medicare in 2019, consider attending one of the following public information sessions:
- 7 p.m., Wed., Oct. 10 at Four Seasons At Manalapan, 1 Pegasus Blvd., Englishtown
- 10:30 a.m., Wed., Oct. 17 and 6 p.m., Thu., Oct. 25 at Neptune Senior Citizen Center, 1607 NJ-33, Neptune
- 1:00 p.m., Tues., Oct. 30 at Howell Township Senior Center, 251 Preventorium Rd., Howell
- 11 a.m. ,Wed., Oct. 31 at Monmouth County Library, 125 Symmes Dr., Manalapan
- 11:30 a.m., Tues., Nov. 27 at Keyport Senior Center, 110 2nd St., Keyport