The month of October is the big kickoff for several healthcare events that are very important for our aging and disabled seniors.
The first one is the Medicare Open Enrollment period for 2018. Open Enrollment begins on October 15th, 2017 and runs through December 7th, 2017, and this is the time for you to look at your current Medicare plan and your Medicare Advantage Plan if you have one. Are there going to be changes in your costs? Are your current doctors still going to be part of your plan? Are the medications you are currently taking still part of your plan’s formula or are there changes which could be very costly?
These are all things that you need to consider as this is the only time of year you can make changes to your health plan without facing any penalties. And for many, trying to figure out all of this can be challenging and stressful.
That is why there is HICAP – The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program, sponsored by the California Department of Aging. HICAP provides information and assistance with Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Prescription Drug coverage, and other related health insurance issues as well as Medicare counseling for Medicare beneficiaries. State registered counselors offer objective information to help seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries make good health care decisions. When problems arise, HICAP counselors can help resolve them. Along with local individual counseling, HICAP offers community education presentations. All services are free of charge.
To help with understanding changes and so you can make informed decisions Reach Out Morongo Basin will be hosting a HICAP Enrollment Clinic at the 29 Palms Senior Center (6539 Adobe Rd., Twentynine Palms, CA) on Tuesday, October 31st, 2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. This Clinic will give Medicare Beneficiaries the opportunity to meet with a counselor to go over the various plans and changes and help you decide what is best for your healthcare needs. To schedule an appointment please call Reach Out at 760-361-1410.
The second healthcare event is the open enrollment for Covered California. Covered California Health Plans are available for seniors under the age of 65 who do not qualify for Medicare. Open enrollment for Covered California begins November 1st, 2017 and runs through December 15th, 2017.
Covered California is where Californians can get brand-name health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It’s the only place to get federal premium assistance to help you buy health insurance from participating health insurance companies. That means you may qualify for a discount on a health plan through Covered California, or get health insurance through the state’s Medi-Cal program. Either way, you’ll have great health coverage.
For more information or to see what help you qualify for you can go to CoveredCA.com, sponsored by Covered California and the Department of Health Care Services, who work together to help health insurance shoppers get the coverage and care that are right for them.
You can learn more about the coverage available through Covered California in the Individuals and Families section on their site.
Until next month wishing you happiness and health!