Medicare Changes: Hotline Help and Presentation Dates for General and LGBT Communities
(AAA1-B Press Release, Nov. 7, 2014)
The Area Agency on Aging 1-B’s (AAA1-B) Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) is partnering with Affirmations to offer LGBT Medicare beneficiaries free information and assistance on Medicare and Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plans during open enrollment now thru December 7, 2014. The AAA 1-B will provide “Medicare 2015 Changes” presentations and offer free, in-person assistance at Medicare Part D Assistance Days at Affirmations in Ferndale, MI (see dates and times below). Medicare counselors will also be available to answer questions over the phone throughout the open enrollment period.
“We are excited to partner with Affirmations and provide LGBT friendly Medicare education and assistance events during Medicare’s open enrollment period,” said Jennifer Therrien, manager of the AAA 1-B’s Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program. “It is important beneficiaries review their Medicare Part D plan every year to make sure the plan still covers their prescriptions and is still is the most affordable coverage option. Plans have the ability to change their premium costs, deductibles and co-pays each year. If a person’s medications have changed, their out of pocket costs may also be impacted.”
The following Medicare education and assistance events will be provided at Affirmations, located at 290 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale, MI 48220:
“Medicare 2015 Changes” Educational Presentation
General Public Event
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
6 pm to 7 pm
LGBT Only Event
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
3 pm to 4 pm
Medicare Part D Assistance Days In-Person Counseling
Sit down with a MMAP counselor to review your current Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage plan and choose a new plan option during the annual open enrollment period
General Public Event
Monday, December 1, 2014
10 am to 3 pm
LGBT Only Event
Thursday, December 4, 2014
10 am to 3 pm
Registration is required to attend these events. To register, please call the AAA 1-B’s Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program at 1-800-803-7174.
Medicare Part D Counseling by Phone
For assistance with Medicare Part D prescription plan choices over the phone, beneficiaries can call the AAA 1-B’s MMAP counselors at 1-800-803-7174 Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The Area Agency on Aging 1-B offers these tips for choosing a Medicare Part D plan:
- If you are currently enrolled in a Part D Medicare plan, carefully review the Annual Notice of Change to determine any changes to your plan coverage. This will be mailed to you around October 1, 2014. You should expect to receive it no later than October 30, 2014.
- Before signing up for a plan, you should compare plan options using the plan finder tool on Medicare.gov. If you do not compare plans, you risk enrolling in a plan that doesn’t provide adequate coverage, or paying two to three times more than you need to. There are 31 Medicare Part D Plans to choose from and they vary significantly. If you need help, contact a reliable, trusted, unbiased source, like the AAA 1-B, and/or sign up to attend one of the AAA 1-B’s Assistance Days by calling (800) 803-7174 (dates and locations listed below).
- Consider the plan’s customer service and quality rating, in addition to the cost of the plan, to ensure that you are enrolling in the best plan for you. Each plan is given a Star Quality Rating. Stars for each plan show how well the plan performs in a particular category. Star ratings range from 1 to 5 stars. A rating of 1 star means “poor” quality, 2 stars means “below average” quality, 3 stars means “average” quality, 4 stars means “above average” quality and 5 stars means “excellent” quality.
- Consider mail order options to save money. Most Part D plans offer mail order at a lower cost than a retail pharmacy.
- Enroll in a Medicare Part D plan between October 15, 2014 and December 7, 2014 to ensure your prescription coverage is in effect on January 1, 2015.
About the Area Agency on Aging 1-B
The Area Agency on Aging 1-B is a nonprofit agency responsible for services to more than 620,000 persons age 60 and older residing in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties. Through the provision of home care and community-based services, older adults are provided with options that can help maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities.
The national Older Americans Act created a network of local Area Agencies on Aging across the United States to provide supportive services that enable older adults to live with independence and dignity in a setting of their choice. The AAA 1-B, established in 1974, is a part of the national Area Agency on Aging network.
For more information on the Area Agency on Aging 1-B call 1-800-852-7795, or visit www.aaa1b.com.